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|Game:||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
- "Grove Street - Home. At least it was before I fucked everything up."
- — Carl Johnson
Carl "CJ" Johnson departs Liberty City for Los Santos, after receiving a call from his brother, Sean "Sweet" Johnson, informing him that their mother Beverly had been killed following a drive-by shooting by Ballas gang members attempting to kill Sweet.
Upon arriving in Los Santos, Carl catches a taxi. However, he is pulled over by the C.R.A.S.H. team led by Officer Frank Tenpenny, with Officers Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez assisting. After being carted away in their police car for allegedly carrying drug money, Carl learns that C.R.A.S.H. is framing him for the murder of Officer Ralph Pendelbury, who had only been murdered ten minutes ago by Jimmy Hernandez (an event depicted during The Introduction). Now blackmailed for a crime he didn't commit, Carl is forced to aid C.R.A.S.H. whenever the need arises, but not before C.R.A.S.H. ditches Carl in an alleyway in Jefferson, a part of Ballas territory.
No actual mission takes place after the cutscene, but the game does instruct the player to:
- Get familiar with the controls, and mount the bicycle.
- Follow the blip on the map to the "CJ" icon, Carl's Mom's House on Grove Street.
At this point the player is free to ignore the directions given by the game, and play as they wish if they so choose.
After the introductory cinematic scene, CJ is in an alleyway in Jefferson (the territory of the Ballas, a rival gang), with $350 and no weapons. As there is no immediate danger to CJ's safety, it's advisable for the player to take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the controls, the pause options, and the Radar. Once comfortable, mount the BMX bike with the blue cone marker hovering over it.
Pedaling your way home
Follow the roads to "CJ" icon on the map. It is southeast of the starting location. It is advisable to read the bicycling tips that pop-up as the player rides, especially if this is their first time playing the game.
Optionally, before heading for the map icon, the player can take a detour for extra items. After mounting the bike, leave the alley and go around the corner on the left to the red building, Jefferson Motel. Climb the stairs to find a MP5 on the roof. Continue on the way to the map icon, but look beneath the bridge overpass near the Johnson House for Armour and a Micro SMG. There's also a Pistol in a back-yard nearby, a shovel in Ryder's backyard, and a Tec-9 on Sweet's roof.
Enter the Grove Street cul-de-sac, and walk into the round red mission marker to begin Big Smoke (mission).
- In the PC version, if the host computer is not running around 25-30 frames per second, Tenpenny will drive on before the train has finished crossing, causing the car to pass through the train.
- The police car driven by Tenpenny in the cutscene is not the same model as the regular LSPD car. In the PC version, the car does not have specular reflection, causing it to look much darker than the normal LSPD car.
- During the cutscene at the airport, Carl has a Rockstar Games logo on his suitcase.
- The name of this mission is not usually displayed in-game. It can be seen by collecting enough money to buy a safehouse, and saving the game. The save file will display "In The Beginning".
- The area where Carl is stopped by the police is near the alleyway just behind the Johnson House.
- The woman who takes Carl's suitcase at the airport has very low detailed textures making her look almost cartoon-ish.
- Activating the "Jetpack Cheat" before Carl is thrown out of the police car will render him invisible and wasted at the same time, this also allows Carl to access stores before starting the mission after respawning.