- "Come on, assholes! I'll take you all! You're mine! Mine! I run this town! Hey, over here! Officer down! Come on! Help! Argh! Assholes! You never understood what I did! Fifty of me, and this town would be okay! I took the trash out! I did! And I'd do it all again!"
- ― Frank Tenpenny's final words
End of the Line is the final storyline mission of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas given to protagonist Carl Johnson by his brother and leader of the Grove Street Families, Sweet Johnson from his home in Grove Street, Ganton, Los Santos. Completion of the mission ends the Los Santos Riots.
Carl and Sweet have managed to find out where their former friend, Big Smoke, is hiding. They drive over to Smoke's hideout in East Los Santos while avoiding rioters. Upon arriving, they see that Smoke's crack palace has heavy security and there's no way to enter the place except for breaking through the wall. Carl asks Sweet to wait outside, before attempting to find a way inside the palace. Carl finds a SWAT Tank nearby and steals it while being attacked by SWAT officers and Ballas gang members. He successfully smashes the wall and enters the crack palace.
Upon entering, Carl makes his way through three floors while killing Ballas, Vagos, San Fierro Rifa, and Russian Mafia gang members as well as workers, whom all carry M4s, AK-47s, Combat Shotguns and MP5s amongst other strong weapons. Carl manages to find Big Smoke, who claims that he doesn't feel any regrets over betraying the Grove Street Families and takes out a gun ready to battle Carl. During a shoot-out, Carl manages to kill Smoke and after a brief conversation questioning Smoke's decision, he says he had no choice and saw the opportunity for power and money before dying. In his death throes, Smoke claims that everyone will remember his name, insuring his legacy. As soon as he dies, Carl sadly laments Smoke's end, muttering "Damn, man. What a waste..."
Frank Tenpenny, who had been watching the whole thing, arrives and asks Carl to put all of Smoke's money in his bag. Tenpenny threatens Carl with a shotgun, but Carl distracts him by calling Sweet's name which causes Tenpenny to turn around believing Sweet is right behind him, while Carl dives for cover. After that, Tenpenny takes one last shot at Carl and runs to the second floor and sets the whole building on fire by shooting a generator and causing it to explode. Carl leaves the Crack Palace the same way he came in, killing anyone in his way.
After successfully escaping, Tenpenny attempts to drive away in his Firetruck but Sweet jumps on his Greenwood and then leaps at the ladder on the back of the truck, and hangs on from the ladder. Carl enters a parked Feltzer and starts to chase Tenpenny. During a long chase throughout Los Santos with rioters on the road throwing molotovs and police chasing the trio, a police officer in the truck gets out and starts stamping on Sweet's fingers. Carl gets the Feltzer under the ladder and Sweet drops onto the hood and then climbs over into the passenger seat.
On Carl's order, Sweet then takes control of the car with Carl acting as the shooter with his Micro SMG. The chase continues throughout the city with Carl destroying Police Cars as well as rioters chasing them in cars and bikes. The chase comes to an end on the bridge going above Ganton where Tenpenny crashes his truck through a breakable part of the bridge. Tenpenny climbs out of the fire truck and deliriously shouts about how he had kept the neighborhood clean with his deeds and would "do it all again" before dying in the middle of Grove Street, where the story began and now where it ends.
During this, Carl, Cesar, Sweet and Kendl confront Tenpenny, and Carl prepares to kill Tenpenny with a Desert Eagle. Sweet lowers Carl's gun however, instead deciding that Tenpenny "killed himself in a traffic accident, no one to blame", possibly so that nobody can link any of them or Grove Street Families to Tenpenny's demise. The Truth then appears, congratulating Carl for "beating the system", a feat which Truth claims would take ages for himself to achieve. Carl informs the others about Big Smoke's death, with Kendl remarking about how Smoke was only out for himself, a statement that Truth agrees with, referring to it as the surest path to Hell ("That or forty pounds of mescaline.") With that, the group reconvene inside the Johnson House to talk about their future. Ken Rosenberg, Madd Dogg, Kent Paul and Maccer enter the house causing the rather paranoid group to ready their guns, then lower them upon seeing who it is. Madd Dogg announces his first gold record and they all celebrate their success before Carl heads out of the house "fittin' to hit the block, see what's happening". Following the end, Catalina calls for the last time and is heard having sex with her boyfriend Claude, in a failed attempt to make Carl jealous.
- Before starting the mission, head over to Mike Toreno's Ranch and grab a mini gun. In addition to making clearing each floor easier, it will make the fight with Big Smoke simpler.
- Completing the paramedic and firefighter side missions will make this mission easier, as Carl has more health during shootouts, and being fireproof makes the extinguisher redundant in this mission.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Drive to Big Smoke's Crack Fortress
- Go get the SWAT Tank
- Use the SWAT Tank to ram right through the entrance of Big Smoke's Crack Fortress
- Smoke is on the Fourth floor in his Penthouse Suite. You will have to work your way through three floors to get there
- Make your way to Floors 3 and 4
- Go get Big Smoke
- Smoke has switched the lights off. Go get the thermal goggles by the lower window
- Use the night vision goggles you have just picked up from Big Smoke to help you see in the dark and escape the building as quick as possible
- The floor is on fire use a fire extinguisher to help you get out
- Follow Tenpenny and make sure Sweet is safe, stay close to the fire truck and do not lose Tenpenny
- The cop is stomping on Sweet's fingers get your car close to him in case he loses his grip
- Protect the car from the police, Vagos and Ballas
Post-mission phone call script
Carl Johnson: Eh, whassup?
Catalina: (Heavy breathing)
Carl Johnson: Hello?
Catalina: Yes, Claude, faster, harder, DEEPER! Oh, yes, yes, YES!
Carl Johnson: Catalina! You sick! Get help!
Catalina: And you, Carl, you are jealous!
After the mission
Although this is the final mission of the game, the game itself does not end upon its conclusion. Following the closing cutscene and closing credits, Carl is back on Grove Street. A last phone call from Catalina is received, after which Carl is free to roam about San Andreas as the game enters pure sandbox mode. Any leftover non-storyline missions such as the Zero and Casino strands can still be played out, as can street races, etc. A final WCTR news report is also triggered, detailing the aftermath of the riots. Completion of this mission effectively deactivates Riot Mode. If 100% Completion has been attained, the various rewards will become available after the closing credits.
In sandbox mode certain aspects of the San Andreas universe continue to play out. Progress with the various girlfriends will still go up and down depending on whether Carl continues to date them or not; Carl's physical condition will still change depending on actions like working out and eating; enemy gang members may still randomly shoot at Carl when he passes.
Also, Gang Warfare conditions still apply, meaning Carl will still need to defend territory in Los Santos should any neighboring enemy gang areas remain.
- A easy way to get the SWAT Tank is to buy a Sniper Rifle from Ammu-Nation and snipe the SWAT officers and the Ballas.
- Many characters appear in the final cutscene at the end, including (besides CJ) Sweet Johnson, Kendl Johnson, Cesar Vialpando, Madd Dogg, Ken Rosenberg, Kent Paul, Maccer, Big Smoke (who gets killed in the mission), Frank Tenpenny (who dies on the street), and The Truth (although he does not appear in CJ's house).
- Sweet's Greenwood is locked once Carl and Sweet arrive at Big Smoke's Crack Palace, and the player cannot enter it again during the mission. Sweet remains inside until he jumps onto the ladder of the firetruck. Also the Greenwood is indestructible and can't be moved.
- In the cutscene when CJ confronts Big Smoke, Smoke pulls a Combat Shotgun. However, when the gunfight begins, he uses an AK-47, possibly for balancing reasons.
- Similarly, in the cutscene when Tenpenny appears, he pulls a Combat Shotgun, but later uses a Pump Shotgun to shoot a generator.
- Another oddity with Big Smoke is after the cutscene where Tenpenny leaves the drug lab, is that Smoke's head is under the couch, regardless of where the player killed him. He also has an AK-47 which he dropped and body armor, although this is unrealistic as Smoke's body armor is full of bullets in the cutscene where he dies.
- No matter what pistol the player has in their inventory, Carl will always have a Desert Eagle when he confronts Smoke, and after he's killed Smoke. This will also be the default weapon Carl pulls out regardless what weapon the player has selected before the cutscene begins.
- The Feltzer in this mission is bulletproof/fireproof/explosionproof/damageproof, it can be obtained by failing the mission. The license plate reads " I LOVE MY AK".
- On rare occasions CJ will shout 'Hang on Sweet' just as he starts to chase Tenpenny.
- Once part 2 (The chase of the Firetruck) is failed, and you do the mission again, the first part (the gunfight inside the crack den) is skipped and goes directly to the part 2 scene, hinting that it automatically "Trip Skips" the scene.
- The two SWAT Tanks seen in this mission are the only two in the entire game. The one used to smash the wall can be stored in a garage, however it will disappear after the mission unless the player fails the mission.
- The mission is played in three parts: The first ends when CJ kills Smoke and Tenpenny blows up the lab. The second ends when CJ exits the building and Sweet hangs on the firetruck, and the third is the remainder of the mission (chase and ending). If you had completed one or two parts and replay the mission, the first parts will be skipped and you will start from when you have failed the mission.
- The time in this mission is pre-written. Regardless of what time the player begins the mission, the mission will start at 21:30 outside Sweet's house, so the confrontation between CJ and Smoke would be during the night. Although, after Tenpenny blows up the generators and CJ is alone in Smoke's room, the time is 00:00. Since the player has seven minutes (seven GTA hours) to escape the lab, when CJ exits the lab it should be early in the morning. However, when the pursuit of Tenpenny begins, the time is 17:00. Tenpenny's death is around 23:00 and the mission is finally passed at 1:00.
- An easier way to kill Big Smoke is to go to Toreno's ranch before you start the mission and grab a minigun or obtain via a pick-up. Fire it at Big Smoke and you can defeat him in a few seconds.
- If the player is skilled enough, they could even use a melee weapon like a knife or a katana against Big Smoke (or even fight bare-fisted).
- Sweet's car is invincible at the beginning of the mission.
- At one point, a SWAT Tank breaks in through the wall from a back alleyway, allowing SWAT to enter the building. However, there is no back alleyway on the building's exterior, and there is no hole anywhere where the Tank could have burst in through. The tank comes from a fake world, as you can tell by re-entering the building after completing the mission, going upstairs to the hole and looking around the exterior.
- Carl sarcastically saying "See you around...officer!" to Tenpenny's corpse is what Tenpenny says when he shoves Carl out of his police car, "See you around, Carl!" from the first mission.
- Completing the Firefighter sub-mission prior to going after Smoke makes Carl fireproof, allowing him to walk through the flames without having to deal with the fire extinguisher.
- This is one of only two missions where Frank Tenpenny appears without Eddie Pulaski. The other one being Body Harvest.
- The mission is referenced in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, when the police helicopter pilot says "LCPD! THIS IS THE END OF THE LINE!!!"
- This mission might be also referenced in GTA IV, as sometimes when in the train system, the conductor might say "End of the line, the train is now terminated.".
- Smoke is not affected by explosive, therefore try not to use Grenades, Rocket Launcher and other explosive weapons, using it will only waste ammo.
- The player is able to recruit Grove Street members for the second part of the mission when escaping the crack palace. In order to do that, you have to fail part two which can only happen by dying. Before retrying the mission, you can recruit gang members and they'll be with you inside Smoke's place as you start from that part.
- After Tenpenny dies, the gang heads in the direction of Sweet's house but end up in the Johnson house. Also, The Truth is seen with the gang but is not seen in the Johnson house.
- After the mission, a news report on WCTR mentions the recovery of Madd Dogg's music career. He also mentions that Carl is his new manager. This is the first time Carl's full name is mentioned on the radio.