The Hunter is based on the AH-64 Apache. In GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories, the Hunter is an aesthetically correct AH-64A, though in VCS, it is technically a YAH-64 as the helicopter did not formally enter service with the United Stated Army until 1986. The version featured in GTA San Andreas has a similar design, however it omits the co-pilot's seat, uses an eight-bladed tail rotor and has a canopy that swings open vertically, as with the Hydra jet.
A deadly aircraft, the Hunter is armed with a self-targeting chin-mounted gun and dual rocket launchers, which can launch two unguided rockets simultaneously. Like the Rhino and the Hydra, both weapons have unlimited ammunition. In addition, it is highly resistant to damage, but is by no means indestructible. Despite being an army vehicle, it is never used by the military or hostile factions in any game outside scripted circumstances.
Notable appearances in missions
The Hunter's most notable use is in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories missions Over The Top and Last Stand, when Victor Vance steals a Hunter (in Over the Top) in order to attack the Mendez Cartel (in Last Stand). It also appeared in Learning to Fly, race event Heli Hell and two flown by NPC in Up, Up and Away! (part of casino heist mission) from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, All Hands On Deck from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and From Zero to Hero from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
Although it isn't considered a mission, the Hunter appeared in a multiplayer match for the PSP version of GTA Vice City Stories named Might of the Hunter.
The Skywolf mission is a side mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories available after Last Stand, it is activated by simply entering the Hunter at Escobar International, the mission requires the player to use the Hunter's weaponary and destroy a certain amount of targets while flying through some rings. The targets are actual boats, cars and for the last part, another helicopter. Completion of the mission gets the player a step closer to 100% Completion
- Though it does not appear within the game, leftover Hunter files from Vice City are present in the code of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. With the aid of third-party trainers, a fully functional Hunter can be spawned. It has the same design as the Vice City model, but cannot be used for vigilante missions nor is named in-game.
- In GTA Vice City, San Andreas and Liberty City Stories, the player is able to play the game's radio stations while flying the Hunter. However, this ability was removed in GTA Vice City Stories. The default radio stations for the Hunter are V-Rock in GTA Vice City, K-DST in GTA San Andreas.
- The Hunter is the fastest helicopter in the series, but has the widest turning radius.
- In GTA Vice City the Hunter's machine gun has a firing sound like the M-60.
- In GTA San Andreas, using gun to destroy any vehicles do not attract police attention, but killing people on foot using turret, or firing rockets, unless they hit ground, structure, directly criminals spawned by vigilante mission or explode in the air, do attract wanted level.
- One must be careful when shooting the rockets from the Hunter in Vice City Stories because if the helicopter strafes too much, the rockets will hit the chopper immediately after firing, thus, destroying it in the process.
- GTA Vice City
- Fort Baxter Air Base - Inside the base after completing either Keep Your Friends Close or collecting all 100 hidden packages.
- Ocean Beach - At the helipad next to Lance Vance's house after completing both, the 100 hidden packages collect and Keep Your Friends Close.
- GTA San Andreas
- Easter Basin, San Fierro - On a helipad inside the Easter Basin Naval Station after completing Flight School with all golds. The player instantly gains a 5 star wanted level upon entering the base and therefore will be assaulted by two NPC Hydras firing heat-seeking missiles.
- Verdant Meadows, Bone County - At the airstrip after getting gold on all flying school tests. (Note: When both the Hunter and Leviathan are unlocked at Verdant Meadows, only one of them can spawn at a time. Arrive from the west to spawn the Hunter and arrive from the east to spawn the Leviathan.)
- Used in Heli Hell - instead of completing the course, take the Hunter to the aircraft hangar in Verdant Meadows.
- Can be spawned by inputting the cheat during gameplay.
- GTA Vice City Stories
- Escobar International Airport - At the southern part of the airport near the Biplane after completing Last Stand. Starts the "Skywolf" side-mission automatically upon entrance.