Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto)

Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto)
The Grand Theft Auto IV rendition of Liberty City features a more striking resemblance to New York City.

Liberty City is a fictional city in Rockstar Games' video games series Grand Theft Auto, based primarily on several major cities including New York City. There have been different incarnations of the city that have appeared in various generations of the series.

The Grand Theft Auto rendition is portrayed as a city geographically similar to New York City, composed of two large islands. The Grand Theft Auto III rendition (also featured in Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and briefly in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) is portrayed as a more generic metropolitan city that is loosely based on New York City, but consists of elements of other American cities.[1] The Grand Theft Auto IV (also featured in The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars) rendition is portrayed as a caricature of New York City, with Liberty City's landmarks and geography based heavily on New York City's. Liberty City's four boroughs, as well as the adjacent state of Alderney correspond to four of New York City's five boroughs and New Jersey, respectively.

In every rendition of the city, Liberty City is primarily depicted as a large city with a sizable population (4 million in the Grand Theft Auto III rendition,[2] with around 8 million in Grand Theft Auto IV), featuring a complete transportation infrastructure of roads and railways, airports and elevated trains and is located on a geographical configuration of shorelines and islands, similar to that of New York City and Chicago. The city has been described as one suffering from crime and corruption, with the presence of organized crime, feuding street gangs, petty criminals, and rampant misconduct and corruption among city officials and law enforcement. Parts of Liberty City have also suffered major damage and loss from bombings, which are depicted as being orchestrated by local criminals. Some of these damages, however, have been repaired or resulted in complete redevelopment of an entire area.

Liberty City is also located in the same fictional universe as Vice City, Carcer City (Manhunt), Bullworth (Bully) and San Andreas, other locations portrayed in games throughout the series and other Rockstar Games related games.[citation needed] Liberty City is the most used fictional setting in the series: it is prominently featured in six of the ten stand-alone and one expansion pack Grand Theft Auto games, with a cameo appearance in a further two.


Grand Theft Auto rendition

The map of Liberty City, as depicted in Grand Theft Auto. Notice the similarity to Manhattan Island.
NASA photo of the real Manhattan Island.

Liberty City was first featured in the original Grand Theft Auto. The city's geography and alignment of districts was more true to that of New York City, featuring two major mainlands with a Manhattan-like central island (which contains a large park at the center, a reference to Central Park), and several smaller islands along a river of the city, with the mainlands and islands connected primarily by road bridges. Train services with lines running in the city were also present.

Different neighborhoods of New York City and New Jersey were also portrayed, with naming similar to their real-life counterparts. The list of Liberty City's neighborhoods is as followed (north to south):

  • Minor Islands
    • Law Island (Ward's Island and Randall's Island)
    • Nixon Island (Roosevelt Island)
  • Northeast Shore
    • Brix (Bronx)
    • Island View

Grand Theft Auto III era rendition


Liberty City
—  Fictional City  —
City of Liberty
A map of Liberty City as depicted in GTA III.
Motto: "Worst Place in America."
Country United States
State Liberty
Boroughs Portland
Staunton Island
Shoreside Vale
Founded 1798
 – Mayor Miles O'Donovan (I)
 – Total estimated 4,000,000
Website Official GTA III website

The second appearance of Liberty City is in Grand Theft Auto III, assuming a significantly different design from its original version. The location, circa late-autumn 2001, is often referred to as "the worst place in America" by in-game literature, for its rampant crime and corruption; gang wars, theft, and murder are endemic to everyday life to the point where police intervention has become nearly negligible.[3][4] In addition to its appearance alongside Vice City and the state of San Andreas, the city is also located near Carcer City, which is featured in Manhunt, another video game developed by Rockstar Games. Little is known about Liberty City's early history, although dialog exists in GTA III claiming that the city was "a church, a cow pasture and three houses when the telephone was invented",[5] and a map of the city provided in the packaging of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories claims that the city is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 1998,[6] suggesting that the city was founded in 1798. The population of the city is given at four million, as stated in the game's manual.[2] The GTA III website mentions that the city is twinned with Beirut.

The mayor of Liberty City, as of 2001, is Miles O'Donovan,[3] although his first name was not revealed until Liberty City Stories. O'Donovan was preceded by Roger C. Hole, who is assassinated while jogging in 1998 by Toni Cipriani in Liberty City Stories, under orders from local Mafia Don Salvatore Leone. The death of Hole forces an election that eventually leads to O'Donovan's victory, although it is also revealed that media mogul Donald Love was campaigning unfairly as a candidate in the elections.

Many landmarks exist within Liberty City, but many do not echo the real-life landmarks of New York City. A Central Park equivalent is located on Staunton Island, called Belleville Park. The city is also home to another tall hi-rise, Staunton Plaza, under construction in Fort Staunton and designated to become a large business office block. In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, a Little Italy section of town exists in place of the Fort Staunton construction site, until 1998 when Toni Cipriani destroys the entire area under orders of Donald Love. Other landmarks include an unnamed equivalent of the Empire State Building in Staunton's downtown financial district. Across from the building lies the Jefferson St. Credit Union Office Building, the tallest building in the city. The Lips 106 radio station building features two identical twin towers resembling Marina City in Chicago.

Boroughs (GTA III)

The city is divided into three areas, or "boroughs", which in turn are separated into districts and neighborhoods. While the boroughs are different from one another, each borough houses one hospital, one police station and one fire station, with the former two serving as local respawn points in an event the player dies or is arrested, respectively.

Portland Island

Portland Island is at the eastern end of the city limits, (assuming typical map up for north orientation) and primarily serves as the industrial portion of the city. This is a low-income district filled with industrial workers, which is heavily based on the New York City Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. It is home to a lot of the city's ethnic gangs. Much of the island's industrial population is concentrated towards Trenton at the south of the island, which is within short driving distance to Portland Harbor and Atlantic Quays, which serve as seaports.[7] Non-industrial properties tend to reside towards the north and west sides of the island. Portland also operates an elevated train service with three stations (Rothwell Station in Hepburn Heights, Kurowski Station in Chinatown, and Baille Station in Saint Mark's).

Chinatown is a primarily Triad run part of the city. However, there also is some Mafia activity by the Leone and Sindacco families. The Saint Mark's district is primarily the home and business place of Italian-Americans, and is located on the northeast side of the island. This district is notably under heavy Mafia control. Other districts of interest include the Red Light District, which previously was the residential area of Portland. The neighborhood has by now significantly degraded, with pimps and hookers roaming the streets throughout the area. Hepburn Heights is a neighborhood near the Red Light District consisting of housing projects which closely resemble the Queensbridge housing projects. It is home to the Diablo gang. Harwood, which is located on the northern end of the island, is mostly used as a drug dealing haven by the Leone crime family. This neighborhood is also home of the Head Radio station building, a junkyard, a car dealership, a bomb shop, and the Porter Tunnel's Portland terminus. Old platforms and train cars of a railway line are also found in eastern Harwood, as well as a tunnel running under the Saint Mark's district, which directly links Harwood with Portland Harbor.

The remaining districts are sparsely inhabited. Callahan Point, home to a small dock, is located under and around the foot of the Callahan Bridge, which links Portland Island to Staunton Island. Portland Beach is an empty cliff-side beach located east of Saint Mark's, while Portland View consists of a tract of land and a stretch of road between Portland Harbor and Chinatown. Portland Rock, a small island containing a lighthouse, may also be seen east of Portland Beach.

Landmarks of Portland

1.Red-light district

2.Saint Mark´s


Staunton Island

An island between Portland Island and Shoreside Vale, Staunton Island is depicted as Liberty City's upscale central business district (based on New York City's Manhattan Island), housing the largest cluster of commercial and residential skyscrapers in the entire city. Due to nearby Francis International Airport, taller skyscrapers are concentrated towards the north of the island, away from incoming planes, while low-rises and several of the city's major institutions (Staunton's hospital, sports stadium and university) are concentrated towards the north.

The skyscraper core of the island is located within the south Staunton downtown district of Torrington (to the east) and Bedford Point (to the west). The tallest and largest building in Staunton (and therefore, the city) is depicted to be owned by the Jefferson Street Credit Union, which is connected to two other large commercial buildings, one owned by FCB Bank (which is the third tallest building in the city) and one by AMCO by skyways; all three buildings are located within the district of Torrington.[3] In addition, a skyscraper resembling the Trump Tower is also present beside the Jefferson St. Credit Union building. Aside from skyscrapers, Torrington also boasts a Yakuza-controlled casino at the southeast, and the Staunton branch and overall headquarters of the Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) complete with a helipad. Bedford Point houses the city's cathedral, opera house,[8] art gallery,[8] a Times Square-themed street, an Empire State Building look-alike (the second tallest building in the city) that dominates the district, and the Love Media building, the workplace and home of Donald Love. Several neoclassic-styled municipal buildings are also located within the two districts, which are nameless in-game, although one of the buildings located near the northern end of Torrington is suggested in the official GTA III website to be city hall,[3] while another building on the northeast end of Bedford Point is described as "town hall"[8] upon inspection of the game's internal data files. Based on the locations of the city's landmarks and spoofs within the both districts, both districts may be based on both Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan.

The Newport district, located north of Torrington, houses several apartments and businesses, boating docks, and a multi-story car park. Bordering the west of Newport is the Belleville Park district, consisting of Belleville Park, a play of New York City's Central Park, and blocks of buildings surrounding the park, including a shopping mall.

Fort Staunton, located north of Newport, is depicted as an area in the process of demolishing blocks of old buildings and re-developing the entire property with the construction of Staunton Plaza. Panlantic Construction, a division of an American-Colombian business conglomerate in charge of the area's development, is suspected by the LCPD to be one of the many fronts for the Colombian Cartel,[3] and thus may explain the presence of Cartel members and gang cars in the area.

The remaining districts towards the north house civic facilities and other structures: The Aspatria district in the northwest houses the "Liberty Memorial Coliseum" (or the Bush Stadium),[3] completed in 1923 and serves as the playing field for the Liberty City Cocks Football team,[3] and a waterfront park along its coastline (similar to Riverside Park; while the Liberty Campus district, located inland from the east of Aspatria, consists of campus blocks of the St. Matthias University (the facility was also dubbed Liberty City College).[3] Rockford is primarily occupied by the Carson General Hospital, and an arms dealing business owned by Phil Cassidy, based on the northern tip of the district.

Based on the commercial area of New York City, Staunton most resembles the tourist areas and central business districts of Manhattan as well as urban shopping areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.[verification needed] The name is an obvious play on the real-life borough of the city Staten Island and business-oriented areas of urban New Jersey such as Newark, Hoboken, or Jersey City.[verification needed] "Aspatria" takes its inspiration from the Astoria section of Queens. "Liberty Campus" is a take-off on Columbia University, while "Belleville Park" derives its name from the nearby Manhattan suburb of Belleville.

Landmarks of Staunton Island

1.Belleville Park

2.Bedford Point

3.Liberty Campus

4.Liberty City Memorial Stadium

Shoreside Vale

Shoreside Vale is a hilly and more suburban area of the city, located on the west-most side of Liberty City, and is the only part of the city located on the mainland, with the entire area attached to a large body of land that creeps towards the north of Portland Island.

The area is the location of the Cedar Grove suburb (which takes its name directly from one of the Jersey suburbs) at the northeast and the Wichita Gardens housing projects at the east, which resembles the poor gang-ridden housing projects in The Bronx. Wichita Gardens used to house many of the Forelli gang members but during a shootout ordered by Salvatore Leone, leader of the Leone's, Toni Cipriani and The Southside Hoods took control of the blocks. Also located in Shoreside Vale is the Pike Creek industrial district at the west, a dam (dubbed Cochrane Dam, named after Adam Cochrane, a designer working in Rockstar North[9]) at the northwest and the city's airport, Francis International (featuring a structure based on the Los Angeles International's Theme Building). There is also a bridge linking Pike Creek to Cedar Grove which resembles the Henry Hudson bridge over the Harlem River.

Shoreside Vale most resembles the farther away, more upper-class Long Island, Westchester, as well as suburban areas of New Jersey and the more affluent neighborhoods of New York City's Staten Island, which is relatively far from Manhattan, although it too resembles The Bronx in the eastside.[verification needed]

Landmarks of Shoreside Vale

1.Wichita Gardens
2.Cochrane Dam


Liberty City is connected via a series of bridges and tunnels, linking boroughs to Staunton Island. Callahan Bridge (also known as the West Port Bridge[10]) is a four lane suspension bridge, connecting southwestern Portland Island with east-central Staunton Island. The bridge is destroyed by a bomb in late-2001 by the Colombian Cartel, as they kidnap a prisoner. The bridge is repaired during the events of the game and eventually becomes operational. The second bridge, known as the Shoreside Lift Bridge, is a large four lane lift bridge connecting southeast Shoreside Vale with the west side of central Staunton Island. During a large portion of the game, the bridge is suffering a mechanical failure preventing the lift from functioning. Like the Callahan Bridge, the Shoreside Lift Bridge is repaired as the game's storyline progresses.

Liberty City has one major road tunnel system, dubbed Porter Tunnel, possibly based on the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel or the Big Dig, located in Boston. The Porter Tunnel is a primarily four lane underground and underwater road tunnel (however the Staunton Island slipway consists of only one lane for each direction), which connects all boroughs in Liberty City: Portland via Harwood, Staunton via Rockford, and Shoreside Vale via Francis International Airport and Wichita Gardens. The tunnel is initially inaccessible, citing that tunnel construction is still incomplete and had been delayed several times.[3][11][12] The tunnel is then opened in phases: first with the segment linking Portland and Staunton, then the segment linking the Portland-Staunton exits to the Shoreside Vale exits. In Shoreside Vale, entrances to two additional road tunnels may also be found north of Cedar Grove and Cochrane Dam, respectively. The tunnels are inaccessible in Grand Theft Auto III but the ingame map of the city indicates the tunnels lead up north out of city limits. In Liberty City Stories, the tunnels can be accessed and connect to each other at an underground T-junction. The tunnel that branches off is signposted as leading to "Upstate", but is inaccessible.

In addition to road transportation, Liberty City has two subway and elevated train systems that run within the city, bearing similarities to the New York City Subway. The inter-borough subway, an underground subway system that connects all three boroughs of the city, has stations at Portland (border between Chinatown, the Red Light District and Saint Mark's), Staunton (Rockford Station in Liberty Campus and Staunton South Station in Bedford Point) and Shorside Terminus in Shoreside Vale (Francis International). The Portland El, an elevated train service, runs its routes within Portland Island, with Rothwell Station in Hepburn Heights, Kurowski Station in Chinatown, and Baillie Station in Saint Mark's. The Portland El is claimed to have been introduced in 1930.[3] Both systems are not directly connected to each other, and there is no transportation hub where both trains networks may intersect. The trains run 24 hours a day and their use is free of charge.

Gang control

Liberty City is controlled by various gangs and criminal organizations. The Leone crime family controls Portland, specifically the St. Marks area and Red Light District area, and are led by Don Salvatore Leone. Neighborhoods in Portland are also under the control of the Triads, who are located in Chinatown, where their influence is weakened after their gang war with the Leone family; and the Diablos, whose turf is the Hepburn Heights district. Staunton Island is controlled by the Yardies and Yakuza. The Yakuza are located in the Torrington area and are led by siblings Kenji and Asuka. The Yardies are also powerful in Staunton, and are located in the center of the island, close to Newport and Belleville Park. The Colombian Cartel also have a presence in Staunton, and are located in the construction area of Fort Staunton. Shoreside Vale is controlled by the Southside Hoods. The South Side Hoods actually consist of two opposing street gangs: The Red Jacks and the Purple Nines. They are located in Wichita Gardens. The Colombian Cartel's presence in Shoreside Vale is in Cedar Grove.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories rendition

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories takes places in the same Liberty City depicted in Grand Theft Auto III, but is set in 1998, three years before the events in GTA III. As such, the Liberty City Stories rendition of the city explains some of the city's characteristics in GTA III. At the time of Liberty City Stories, the city is officially declared "The least likely place to succeed in America" by an October 30, 1998 issue of the Liberty Tree being cited in the headline as the 'Worst place in America' and that it has received the accolade for the eighth time, showing that the city has been unpopular for some time.

The city has a population of around 12 million people, spread throughout the 3 islands and 4 boroughs of the city. The most populated area is Staunton Island. This is where the downtown districts and offices are located.

Motorcycles are initially permitted in Liberty City. By GTA III, a citywide ban on the vehicle is imposed, explaining the absence of motorcycles in the game. The Maibatsu Corporation of America, is a staunch supporter for increased car use in Liberty City, is seen as a notable advocate and contributor to the ban, funding an organization dubbed "American Road Safety for Everyone" (ARSE) that has lobbied for the ban after "the successful banning of bicycles,".[6] It is implied that Maibatsu have spearheaded the campaign to help market the allegedly oversized Monstrosity SUV due to be released in 2001.

Police cars in Liberty City Stories are depicted assuming a marking and paint scheme that resembles those of the NYPD during the 1990s, although the game's version uses a black-and-white color scheme, instead of blue and white. This design was originally planned to be used for GTA III, but was redesigned into a common panda-like black and white color scheme around the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York City.

Transportation and industrial action

In 1998, the city is depicted undergoing major changes in inter-borough road links. Callahan Bridge, which is expected to connect Staunton Island and Portland Island, is under construction, and is due to be completed in May 1998.[6] The Porter Tunnel is also seen as mostly under construction, but is revealed to have completed segments linking the Shoreside Vale exits. The segment linking Staunton is unfinished but still accessible, as shown when Toni Cipriani is seen driving a van through the area to reach a nonoperational subway terminal beneath Fort Staunton. Construction of the Portland segment, however, has yet to begin, as the area is still in the process of excavating a tunnel.

Because road connections to Portland are unavailable in 1998, the island is initially accessible by car in ferries between Harwood, on the northwest end of Portland, and Rockford, on the northern end of Staunton. Two ferries travel alternately in opposite directions between the ferry terminals, and the service charges $25 for each one-way trip between the islands. The inter-borough subway system is also connected to all three boroughs, allowing pedestrians to travel between the areas with fewer restrictions.

Protest and industrial action by Liberty City transit workers occur in 1998 as a result of the bridge and tunnel construction, as their completion would render ferry services obsolete and the workers made redundant.[13] Strikers form picket lines outside Portland's ferry terminal and harbor, shutting down transit communication between boroughs for periods of time: Firstly between Portland Island and the rest of the city with the temporary closure of ferry services, and lastly between Shoreside Vale and the rest of the city after the Portland protests fail and ferries resume operation, when unsatisfied remnants of the group protest at an exit of the Shoreside Lift Bridge instead, disrupting bridge operations. The protests finally end after newly elected Mayor Miles O'Donovan promises "there will always be a ferry service in Liberty City."

Nevertheless, ferry services cease to exist by late-2001. While the Porter Tunnel is still unfinished at the time of GTA III, the completion of the Callahan Bridge su the Portland exit for the Porter tunnel by 2001, while Phil Cassidy's arms dealing business, circa 2001, is relocated close to the former site of the Staunton terminal.


In Liberty City Stories, the city is in the process of constructing several buildings, including some of Liberty City's tallest. For example, the Jefferson St. Credit Union office building, which is the largest and tallest building in Liberty City in GTA III, is under construction in 1998, with a large construction crane present at its top and only half the height it is in 2001, although it is indicated that it was simply an expansion over the building's existing structure as several occupied interiors of the building suggest the completed half of the building is operational. As such, the city's Empire State Building equivalent is the tallest tower in Liberty City during the game, and 3 buildings resembling the Flatiron Building can be seen around Staunton Island.

Other noticeable differences include the presence of scaffolding and a construction crane at the main entrance of the Liberty Memorial Coliseum, suggesting that the stadium is under renovation. Also, housing projects in Hepburn Heights are under construction.

In Staunton Island, a large cemetery exists south beside the Bedford Point Cathedral in Staunton. By 2001 an Opera House, following its destruction in Fort Staunton, is built in its place, completely dwarfing the cathedral itself. During a 1998 radio show, a Chatterbox listener phoned in to tell Lazlow he is campaigning to bulldoze the church garden and make way for a concrete square, which would house Internet terminals and foosball tables for parishioners. As with the eventual ban of motorcycles, a real estate company, Jimmy's Commercial Real Estate, is behind this campaign's eventual success, citing that the city's "sick love of death" should be put to a stop and that a building be built in place "for the health of everyone".[13] The construction of the building left the Cathedral with only a thin strip of burial ground on the north side of the Cathedral by late-2001.

In the cemetery, the people listed on the headstones-Paulie Sindacco, Vincenzo Cilli, Giovanni Casa, Dan Sucho, Mayor R.C. Hole, J.D. O'Toole, and Cedric "Wayne" Fotheringay—are all characters that are killed by Toni Cipriani throughout the course of the game.

In the duration of the game, several other buildings are destroyed or replaced by GTA III. Among them, the Doll House gambling den and brothel, and a Leone-owned factory at Callahan Point which is replaced by a Triad fish factory by 2001, when it is also destroyed. Toni Cipriani's apartment in Saint Mark's, Portland is also in the process of demolition by GTA III.

Perhaps the most notable destruction in the city was that on Fort Staunton in northeast Staunton Island, consisting of several blocks of business establishments, apartments, an opera house and a museum housed within the namesake fortress.[verification needed] The area is imploded voluntarily by Toni Cipriani in 1998 with explosives given by 8-Ball, planted underground in several old and disused subway station platforms, on orders from Donald Love, paving the way for a new property development project. The bombing coincidentally cripples activities of the rival Forelli family, which conducted much of their activities in the area. Following the destruction of the district, the local media blames the origin on explosions on the Forelli's underground arms stores beneath the district. In GTA III, the area is completely cleared away for the Staunton Plaza, which is under construction in 2001.

Fort Staunton's defunct subway stations, closed to the public, but accessible via the unfinished Staunton slipway in the Porter Tunnel is completely cut off from the rest of the subway line.[14] The stations are picked as prime locations to destroy Fort Staunton,[15] and are located in three points beneath Fort Staunton. The stations are suggestively cleared away along with the remains of the devastated district by 2001.

Although the bombing is made possible by Toni, Donald and explosives specialist 8-Ball, the plans for the area were originally conceived by Avery Carrington, whose plans are stolen by Toni and Donald, as Avery is killed by the two after he exits Francis International with Colombian Cartel bodyguards. After the bombing, development of the site is indicated to involve Panlantic Construction, which remains tied to the Cartel in GTA III. Donald is forced to flee the city after the Cartel attempts to ambush and kill him, leaving Fort Staunton in possession of the gang up to the time of GTA III, when the Yakuza seize the district from them.

Gang control differences

Liberty City in 1998 contains a different distribution of gang activity, which, during the course of the Liberty City Stories storyline, is shown changing to more closely resemble the gang control of 2001. The Leone family, the Forelli family and the Sindacco family of the Liberty City Mafia, all have a larger control on districts in Portland and Staunton Islands than in GTA III. At the time, the Sicilian Mafia also have an interest in Liberty City. In addition to Saint Mark's, the Leone family control at least the northern portion of Chinatown.[16] The Forelli family have footholds in Fort Staunton, Newport, Belleville and Wichita Gardens in Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. The Sindacco family conduct much of their activity in the Red Light District and Hepburn Heights. However, they lose these territories to the Leones and move to Staunton Island. As in 2001, the Colombian Cartel occupy Cedar Grove, but can also be seen around Francis International Airport. The turf occupied by the Uptown Yardies, the Liberty City Yakuza and the Southside Hoods in 2001, is acquired by these gangs in 1998.

Grand Theft Auto Advance rendition

Liberty City is also featured as the setting of Grand Theft Auto for the Game Boy Advance, which is set roughly one year before the events in GTA III. In Advance, all three islands are featured, and the Callahan Bridge has been completed, but ferry services are absent. In Portland, an unusually long overpass exists spanning between one end of the Callahan Bridge to the blocked passage of the Porter Tunnel. However, this is the road the bridge ends at with the alleyway linking that road to the porter road tunnel road. The Alleyway that divided the road is now a road itself. The Cahallan Bridge passes the road it ends at in GTA III and continues a bit further into another road. At one point of the game, Liberty City is said to be affected by Bubonic plague. In this rendition of Liberty City, Portland seems to be bigger than the one in GTA: LCS and GTA III, in fact its the biggest island in GTA Advance rendition of Liberty City.

Because of the hardware limitation of the Game Boy Advance, the city assumes a classical top-down perspective, with roads running only horizontally and vertically, while the overall design and identity of the city remains similar to other GTA III-era renditions. Top-down gameplay meant that height-dependent or underground elements such as subway trains and tunnels (including the Porter Tunnel) could not be implemented into Advance. Slopes are also absent in the Advance rendition.

Grand Theft Auto IV era rendition


Liberty City
—  Fictional City  —
City of Liberty
Motto: "Worst Place in America"
Country United States
State Liberty City State
Boroughs Broker
Settled 1625 (as New Rotterdam)
Founded 1664 (as Liberty City)
 – Mayor Julio Ochoa (D)
 – Deputy Mayor Bryce Dawkins (R)
 – Congressman Thomas Stubbs III (I)
 – Total estimated 18,000,000
Area code(s) 948[17]
Website Official GTA IV website
A very detailed map of Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto IV), rendered using in-game elevation and traffic node data.
The license plate used by vehicles in Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV. The images on the top of the plate are designed as a nod towards New York's license plate design.

The fifth appearance of Liberty City is in Grand Theft Auto IV, assuming a very different design that is based much more closely on New York City than previous renditions. This new rendition of Liberty City is larger in scope than any previous version, with highly advanced detail and a greater degree of realism. The city continues to be referred to as the "Worst Place in America", which has been trademarked by Rockstar Games[18] and appears on the License Plate given to those who pre-ordered the game.

The mayor of Liberty City, as of 2008, is Julio Ochoa, and the deputy mayor is Bryce Dawkins. During the course of the game there is an election campaign taking place for the state governorship. John Hunter and Michael Graves are the two main candidates although it is not clear who belongs to which party or who (if either) is the incumbent.

The bridges in the city are locked down during the early stages of the game due to a terrorist threat,[19] and crossing the police blockades will result in the player receiving a 6-star wanted level. As the player progresses through the game, the blockades are gradually lifted. This allows the player to access the other islands in the city in a fashion similar to previous games in the series. The population of the city is given at 15,000,000.

During the game, the player is able to watch the first part of a television documentary that tells the story of the history of Liberty City from its founding up until the Civil War. The city's timeline is also similar to that of New York City. The Liberty City area is said to have first been explored in 1609 by Horatio Humboldt. A Dutch trading post was established in 1625 on Lower Algonquin, quickly becoming a den of drugs and vice. The city was originally named New Rotterdam by its first Dutch settlers, but was changed to Liberty City when control of it passed to the English in 1664 due to a sponsorship deal that had been agreed with the Bank of Liberty. The British abandoned Liberty City in 1783, concluding the American War of Independence. Liberty City became the first capital of the United States and remained so until the government moved to Capital City in the 1790s.

Landmarks such as the Statue of Happiness, Zirconium Building, Rotterdam Tower, Grand Easton Station, Civilization Committee, Triangle Building, Liberty Ferry, LC24 Tower and the GetaLife Building are present in the city, as well as Star Junction, which features advertisements for familiar brands and companies such as the Liberty Tree newspaper, Bank of Liberty, Sprunk, Cluckin' Bell, and Burger Shot fast food restaurants, and Middle Park. One can also find Weazel News there as well as the Burlesque theatre district. Firefly Island has a roller coaster called the "Screamer" (which is based on The Cyclone), the Liberty Eye ferris wheel (based on the Wonder Wheel), and a ride called "The Corpse Ride". The elevated trains resemble the Culver Line in Brooklyn. The city's transportation includes the Broker and Algonquin Bridges and BOABO (Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass). Each street in the city is individually named.[17]

Boroughs (GTA IV)

Liberty City is made up of four geographical islands, with Bohan being the smallest major island and Algonquin being the largest. Next to the city is the state of Alderney, which is independent of Liberty City and Liberty City State. Despite this, it shares many of the city's services and facilities.


Broker is located south of the borough of Dukes, on the southern half of the island located in the eastern part of the city. Broker is primarily an industrial portion of the city based on Brooklyn, made up of factories, warehouses and brick townhouses, many of which are dilapidated. The borough's population consists largely of ethnic gangs, hipsters, and industrial workers.

A taxi service owned by Roman Bellic, called Express Car Service, operates within the district. The game begins in this borough, with Niko Bellic living in Roman's small two-room apartment in the Eastern-European district of Hove Beach. Other districts include Outlook, East Hook, BOABO, Schottler, South Slopes, Downtown, Rotterdam Hill, Beachgate, Firefly Projects, Firefly Island and Beechwood City. Broker is connected to Algonquin via the Broker Bridge and the Algonquin Bridge.

According to the TV documentary on the History of Liberty City, Broker is named after Sir William Broker III, the (fictional) illegitimate son of the King of Great Britain. Most streets in Broker are named after famous cowboys, such as Hickcock (sic) Street and Earp Street, while most avenues are named after Native American tribes of the Northeast, such as Mohegan Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and Mohawk Avenue (coincidentally, there is a street in Brooklyn, Broker's real-life counterpart, with the name Seneca Avenue).


Dukes is a borough in the northern half of an island at the eastern end of the city limits. As the second largest borough in the city, it is based on the borough of Queens. The city's airport, Francis International Airport, returns from the previous rendition and is located to the eastern most part of the city, this time containing elements of New York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports (the terminal resembles the TWA Flight Center, and the geography and layout of the airport is based on that of LaGuardia). Districts include Steinway, Cerveza Heights, Meadows Park, Meadow Hills, Willis and East Island City. Contrary to popular belief, Schottler and Beechwood City are not neighborhoods in Dukes, but are located within the Broker boundaries. Dukes is connected to Bohan by the Dukes Bay Bridge and the East Borough Bridge. The East Borough Bridge also connects Dukes to Algonquin.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Dukes is a shortened version of "dookie" (slang term for feces) because most of the residents there "smelled like shit." Most avenues in Dukes are named after famous American military battles, such as Bunker Hill Avenue, Inchon Avenue and San Jacinto Avenue, though Battle of San Jacinto was fought by the Texans before America acquired Texas in the early 19th century.


Bohan, based on The Bronx, is the smallest borough in the city, and contains co-op housing similar to Co-op City. Districts include Industrial, Northern Gardens, Chase Point, South Bohan, Fortside, Boulevard and Little Bay. To the north of Bohan is Welham Park which is surrounded by the Welham Parkway.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Bohan is a Dutch word meaning "Dutch word." Most avenues in Bohan are named after famous prisons, such as Alcatraz Avenue, Sing Sing Avenue, Rykers [sic] Avenue, San Quentin Avenue, and Guantanamo Avenue while the streets are named after break dancing maneuvers such as Windmill Street, Worm Street and Drill Street.


Algonquin, based on Manhattan (Manhattan comes from the Algonquian word "Man-a-hat-a"), is the largest area of the city and is located on an island in the very center of the city limits. Like Manhattan, it's also the most densely populated, as it serves primarily as the city's business district and administrative headquarters, with skyscrapers concentrated towards the southern end of the island. A large parkland area called Middle Park, based on Central Park, resides in the center of the district and is suggested to have been built to give local drug users a scenic backdrop for narcotics abuse. Adjacent to the park is Middle Park East and Middle Park West, based on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side respectively. The Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) have their main headquarters on the island, in East Holland, which is a neighbourhood based on Spanish Harlem. The Triangle modeled on TriBeCa features the Rotterdam Tower, the tallest building in the city based on the Empire State Building. The Exchange is the in-game equivalent of Wall Street. Districts include Chinatown, City Hall, Castle Garden City, Castle Gardens, The Meat Quarter, Purgatory, Lancet, Lancaster, Little Italy, Hatton Gardens, Varsity Heights, Fishmarket North, Fishmarket South, Westminster, Suffolk, Presidents City, Easton, Lower Easton, Northwood, North Holland, East Holland.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Algonquin is believed to be a Native American term meaning "place to build condo skyscrapers" or "place to contract an STD".

The Algonquin street grid is laid out similarly to Manhattan's. East-west roads, called streets, are named for minerals and chemical elements, and ordered by letter, from A (Amethyst St.) in the southern part of the island to X (Xenotime St.) in the north. North-south roads are called avenues and named for cities, from A (Albany Ave.) in the east to G (Galveston Ave.) in the west. Some in-town streets have non-conforming names, such as Burlesque. There are a number of roads which lie outside the grid such as Grummer Road in the northwestern part of the borough. These are used to reach non-urban areas of the city such as docks on the West River.

Islands Off Algonquin

Three playable islands exist off Algonquin. All figure in to various missions during the game.

  • Charge Island (a parody of Wards Island) to the east-northeast of Algonquin at the confluence of Humboldt River and Dukes Bay. The hub of the East Borough Bridge sits on Charge Island. There is a large industrial port on Charge Island as well as a forest and some athletic fields.
  • Colony Island (a parody of Roosevelt Island) to the east-southeast of Algonquin in the Humboldt River. The island is reachable by road bridges and the Colony Island Tramway. Colony Island has a number of residential buildings, some urban ruins, and an industrial presence.
  • Happiness Island (a parody of Liberty Island) sits near the mouth of the West River, between Algonquin and the state of Alderney, south-southwest of Algonquin Island. The Statue of Happiness (a parody of the Statue of Liberty only with a coffee cup instead of a torch, and it bears striking resemblance to Hillary Clinton.) is located on Happiness Island. This is the only part of Liberty City not reachable by road vehicle (boat, helicopter, or swimming from near docks). Happiness Island contains two marinas for boats to dock at, multiple hot-dog vendors and multiple buildings on the southern end of the island. There are also multiple binoculars on the water's edge.
Statue of Happiness

Based on the Statue of Liberty, located in game on "Happiness Island", this massive monument lies just south of Algonquin (based on Manhattan.) Within the statue is a fully pumping beating heart, known as the "Heart of the City", suspended in mid-air. The statue is said to have been presented to the United States by France in 1886 to mark "100 years free from British food and spelling" in the in-game television documentary about Liberty City. The statue closely resembles its real-life counterpart, aside from the different face, the statue facing towards the city, and the torch being replaced with a styrofoam coffee cup and a tablet reading:

Send us your brightest, your smartest, your most intelligent,
Yearning to breathe free and submit to our authority,
Watch us trick them into wiping rich people's asses,
While we convince them it's a land of opportunity.


—  Fictional State  —
State of Alderney
Nickname(s): "Algonquin's Ugly Sister"
Country United States
Capital City Alderney City
Largest City Alderney City
Website Official GTA IV website

Alderney is a small state located to the west of, and independent from Liberty City, mostly based on Hudson County and Bergen County, New Jersey and named after the channel island of the same name. The state is largely dominated by Alderney City, (the equivalent of Jersey City with parts of Newark, NJ), and is concentrated towards the middle of the island with Sopranos-esque upmarket suburbs located to the north and the Acter Industrial Park (based on the Port Johnson industrial sector at Constable Hook) on the southern end. The abandoned "Sprunk" brewery is located here and the city is filled with strip-malls and condominiums. The state is infamous for its prison, Alderney State Correctional Facility (based on Northern State Prison in Newark) located to the east of the Acter Industrial Park and an abandoned casino to the north (an exact copy of an abandoned casino in Asbury Park) in Westdyke. Alderney City is connected to Algonquin via the Hickey Bridge and Booth Tunnel.

Districts Include Acter, Berchem, Leftwood, Tudor, Port Tudor, Westdyke and Normandy. It is implied throughout the game that Liberty City citizens do not like Alderney, or anyone from it. One of the Helitours pilots says, "There's the West River. Every day people from Liberty City are glad to know this separates them from Alderney." In the game guidebook Alderney is depicted as "Liberty City's Ugly Sister". Despite the mutual animosity between the two areas, Liberty City shares a number of its services with Alderney, including taxis and emergency services, for example, the FDLC(Liberty City Fire Department) operates two fire stations in Alderney, and the Alderney police officers identify them selves as State Troopers and wear State Police patches on their unique uniforms, but drive LCPD-marked cars). Many members of The Lost can be found on the streets of Acter, Alderney riding their motorcycles or standing around on street corners. In The Lost and Damned, the Lost have a clubhouse in Acter, Alderney.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Alderney is named after Phillip de Alderney, the only person who could originally tolerate living there. The theming of streets is varied in Alderney. Northern Alderney has streets mostly named after mountain ranges within the Rocky Mountains, such as Percell Road and Big Horn Drive. A collection of streets in central Alderney are named after cult leaders, like Koresh Square, Applewhite Street, Jonestown Avenue and Hubbard Avenue. Most streets in southern Alderney are named after nuclear bomb tests done by the United States, such as Plumbbob Avenue, Emery Street and Niblick Street. Other streets in south Alderney are named after inventors, such as Farnsworth Road, Moog Street and Edison Avenue. One of Alderney's major north-south thorofares is the Plumbers Skyway, which resembles the New Jersey Turnpike, and its elevated portion which resembles the Pulaski Skyway.

Fire Department

The Liberty City Fire Department, or FDLC, protects both the City of Liberty and the State and City of Alderney and operates out of eight fire stations throughout the areas. the Borough of Broker has one fire station, the Borough of Dukes has one fire station, The Borough of Algonquin has three fire stations(including one, Engine 47, without any fire engine), the Borough of Bohan has one fire station, and the State and City of Alderney has two fire stations. The FDLC firefighters wear fire turnout gear similar to that of the FDNY, and utilize fire apparatus, only fire pumpers, that also resemble those of the FDNY. However, if the player calls the FDLC on his cell phone, they will respond, but will just get out of, then get back into their engine and just say, "Another false alarm", and leave, whether there really is a fire or not. Also, all fire engines in the game are numbered the same, Engine 69.


Each of the boroughs and the state of Alderney are connected via tunnels and bridges, these include the Northwood Heights Bridge, East Borough Bridge, Dukes Bay Bridge, Hickey Bridge, Algonquin Bridge, Broker Bridge, and Booth Tunnel, a commuter tunnel linking Algonquin with Alderney.[19] The elevated Plumbers Skyway is a series of deck truss bridges that traverses much of Alderney. There also exists an under construction ferry terminal, known as the "Liberty Ferry" (based on the Hoboken Terminal) which exists below Downtown Alderney City near the Booth Tunnel. When built, it will let pedestrians travel in ferry boats across the West River to Lower Algonquin near Castle Garden City. A rapid transit system, based on the New York City Subway, also exists in Liberty City, with destinations in each of the four boroughs. Much of the underground portion of the system is located in Algonquin, while the elevated part is located elsewhere. The 3/8 Broker Line loops around Broker and Dukes in a figure-8 meeting at Huntington Street with stations in Hove Beach, Schottler, Lynch Street and Francis International Airport. Algonquin features two different lines: the A/J Algonquin Outer Line, linked to the 3/8 line and with stations in Feldspar, Emerald, Hematite, Manganese East, Manganese West, Quartz East, Quartz West, Vauxite and Vespucci Circus; and the K/C Algonquin Inner Line with stations in City Hall, Suffolk, Easton, Frankfort Ave, West Park, East Park and North Park. The Easton station (parody of Grand Central Station) serves as the main junction of the entire system. The B/E Bohan Line loops around Bohan and links with the K/C line, it features two stations in San Quentin Ave and Windmill St. In the Steinway district of Dukes, there is a nonoperational terminus station called Dukes Boulevard, closed due to maintenance works. Bohan and Broker also feature elevated railways across their respective districts. There is also the remnants of a defunct elevated rail system in Algonquin, which is no longer in use, based on the High Line in Manhattan. This and other derelict sections of railway track scattered around the city suggest a now-abandoned freight railway. The subway system, as well as a supposed bus system, is operated by the Liberty City Transport Authority (LTA). A Liberty City version of the Roosevelt Island Tramway connects midtown Algonquin with Colony Island.


Liberty City has a baseball team named the Liberty City Swingers, who play in Dukes. There is also a football team called the Liberty City Wrath. The city also has two basketball teams called the Penetrators and Salamanders and an ice hockey team named the Rampage.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars rendition

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad takes place in the Grand Theft Auto IV rendition of Liberty City, with the exception of Alderney. Instead of a ground-level view behind the protagonist or a top-down perspective, Chinatown Wars uses a fully rotatable aerial camera angled down at the action. Most of the buildings and features in Grand Theft Auto IV can be found here, including the Statue of Happiness. There are 80 different drug dealers spread across Liberty City, all which are part of different ethnic gangs who supply and purchase different drugs (e.g. Jamaicans primarily supply marijuana and prefer to buy "downers" from the player).

Because of the aerial camera angle, making viewing underneath overlapping levels difficult, the road network of Liberty City has been 'flattened' to a largely two-dimensional layout. For example, bridges carrying roads over one another have been replaced with intersections.

Minor role in other Grand Theft Auto games

Remaining Grand Theft Auto games set in Grand Theft Auto III-canon, while set in completely difference locales, still mention Liberty City in dialog or feature a part of the city for a short period of time. Also, protagonists featured in these games have prominent experiences with the city for a period of time.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Tommy Vercetti, having just been released from prison, was dispatched to Vice City in 1986 by Sonny Forelli, who was shown inside the Forelli-run Marco's Bistro at Saint Mark's, Portland, Liberty City. Tommy had also earned the nickname the "Harwood Butcher", since he had murdered eleven men when he only came to kill one, evidently in the Harwood district of Portland which resulted in his 15-year jail sentence.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl "CJ" Johnson returns to his childhood home in Los Santos, San Andreas after having spent five years in Liberty City, where he committed petty crimes and worked for Don Salvatore Leone's son, Joey Leone. During the events of the game, CJ briefly returns to Liberty City to assassinate a high ranking Forelli Mafia member at Marco's Bistro, under orders from Salvatore Leone. The mission takes place in a section of southeast Saint Mark's, where Carl must fight through attacking Mafia members in Marco's Bistro and kill his target in the back lot of the restaurant. (This area of Saint Mark's is simply empty space in GTAIII and GTA: LCS)[20]

Liberty City is also featured in The Introduction, a machinima prequel of San Andreas. Set immediately before the events of the game, The Introduction shows both Carl Johnson stealing cars and mugging people in Liberty City and Salvatore Leone's house at Portland Beach, where he makes arrangements for his participation in a casino venture in Las Venturas.


  1. ^ IGN Feature GTA IV: Building a Brave New World. Retrieved May 03, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Rockstar Games, Rockstar North (2001). Grand Theft Auto III instruction manual.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rockstar Games, Rockstar North (2001). Official Grand Theft Auto III website. Retrieved November 29, 2005.
  4. ^ Rockstar Games, Rockstar North (2001). The Liberty Tree online newspaper. Retrieved December 17, 2005.
  5. ^ Chatterbox FM dialog from Grand Theft Auto III (23:59/58:04s).
  6. ^ a b c Rockstar Games, Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds (2005). Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories instruction manual.
  7. ^ In GTA III, GTA: Liberty City Stories and GTA Advance, Atlantic Quays houses several warehouses, two wooden docks and a long concrete dock in the southeast that stretches outward towards the east. While the docks here were not seen in use in GTA III or Advance, LCS depicted a large ship docking beside the concrete dock, suggesting that the area functioned like Portland Harbor.
  8. ^ a b c Internal naming of building models, as seen using Moo 'Mapper.
  9. ^ Adam Cochrane's name appears in the Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City credits of their opening introductory videos.
  10. ^ . In GTA III, several road signs directing locations of Portland describe the Callahan Bridge as the West Port Bridge. An example of the road signs is located on a junction in southwest Trenton, which mentions West Port Bridge. This suggests that the bridge's name was changed during the game's development. An additional name mentioned on the sign, "Waterfront Promenade" is likely to refer to the waterfront esplanade at much of Portland Island's west coast.
  11. ^ Perkins, Andre (March 1, 2001). Liberty Tree - "Porter Tunnel Six Months Behind Schedule". Retrieved December 15, 2005.
  12. ^ Dellamonica, Ken (September 6, 2001). Liberty Tree - "Porter Tunnel Delayed (Again)". Retrieved December 15, 2005.
  13. ^ a b Rockstar Games, Rockstar North, Rockstar Leeds (2005). Official Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories website. Retrieved October 25, 2005.
  14. ^ "GTAForums: November 2, 2005, 04:35 "Third Subway Station in Staunton?" thread post". Retrieved December 11, 2006. 
  15. ^ Donald Love: (Talking to Toni Cipriani on 8-Ball's phone) "Toni, we're one little job away from being fabulously rich. We've scoured plans of Fort Staunton. Its weakest points are along the old subway that runs underneath the area." (Opening cut scene of "Bringing the House Down," Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.)
  16. ^ Vincenzo Cilli: We've got a dealer, working our North Chinatown patch. That lazy bastard ain't brought any cash in, in days. (Opening cutscene of the "Slacker" mission, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.)
  17. ^ a b "Liberty City's area code". Retrieved April 12, 2008. 
  18. ^ ""Worst Place in America" trademarked by Rockstar Games". Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  19. ^ a b GamesMaster (Future UK). February 7, 2008 
  20. ^ Players have learned to access Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's incomplete Liberty City or venture beyond the limited bounds of the mission in multiple methods through the use of trainers or cheat codes [1][2].


External links

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