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Los Santos (HD Universe)

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CITY
Los Santos
LSMontage-GTAV
Appearance(s): Grand Theft Auto V
Population: estimated 4,000,000+
Established: 1781
Country: United States of America
State: San Andreas
Motto: Bulimic Capital of America


"Imagine a city full of people ruthlessly pursuing wealth, fame and self-improvement, at any cost? Where everyone you met was either a celebrity, trying to be a celebrity, or used to be a celebrity? Where nature's bounty meant you could enjoy perfect weather all year round? Where the air was so good you could literally see and taste it? Dare to dream, because that city exists..."
―GTA V Manual

Los Santos is a fictional city located in the southwestern United States in Los Santos County within the State of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto V. GTA V marks Los Santos' second appearance in the series after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which came out in 2004. The new rendition of the city is now much more detailed, larger, and looks more alive than ever before. Los Santos is based on Los Angeles, California, and its greater metropolitan area. Los Santos is Spanish for "The Saints", a play on "The Angels", which is the translation of Los Angeles.

Like its real-life counterpart of LA, Los Santos is a huge and sprawling metropolis with various different cultures, ranging from the prestigious film-making industry of Vinewood to the suburban hood life of Strawberry, just to name a few. Like Liberty City in GTA IV, the time and date of the city is the same as the year the game was released (2013).

GTA V's rendition of Los Santos can be divided into four big sections: North, East, West and South Los Santos, in which beneath the sections, the streets are divided into districts. There are three incorporated cities in Los Santos: Davis, Del Perro, and Rockford Hills.

The city is served by the Los Santos International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the world. Los Santos also has an extensive transit system that reaches all throughout the city.

Los Santos serves as the County Seat of Los Santos County, and is the Principal City of the Los Santos Metropolitan Area.

Districts/Neighborhoods

DowntownLS

Central Los Santos from the air.

Central Los Santos 

Central Los Santos districts make up the area of Downtown Los Santos. The area is bordered by the Del Perro Freeway to the north, the La Puerta freeway to the west, the Olympic Freeway to the south, and the Los Santos River to the east. The area is characterised as Los Santos' most urbanised area, with the presence of the tallest high-rises in the city, including the huge Maze Bank Tower.

Buzzard-FlyingoverLosSantos-GTAV

A Buzzard flying over North Los Santos.

North Los Santos

North Los Santos consists of the neighborhoods that extend north from Downtown Los Santos into the Vinewood Hills at the northern edge of the city. The area is rich and suburban in nature and possesses Los Santos' most affluent and exclusive neighborhoods. North Los Santos is home to one of the wealthiest people in Los Santos. Many famous celebrities such as Poppy Mitchell reside here. Houses in North LS, such as Michael's House, are very lavish and expensive. North LS is the richest area in the city. 

South Los Santos

South Los Santos includes the neighborhoods or areas that define as independent cities that extend south from Downtown Los Santos. The south of the city is home to Los Santos' poorest residents. The south-central districts have several low-income housing projects and garbage lining up the streets. South LS is filled with crime and street gangs like The Families gangbanging. The port and docks of Los Santos is defined also as South Los Santos. Two of the most iconic districts of Los Angeles, Inglewood and Long Beach, previously featured in GTA San Andreas, are mostly absent however, aside from slight influences in other districts of Los Santos.
SouthLS

East Los Santos 

East Los Santos comprises the neighborhoods bounded between the Los Santos Freeway and the Los Santos Storm Drain to the west and the Tataviam and Palomino Highlands mountain ranges to the east. East LS is primarily made up of various different Hispanic/Latino immigrants, mostly Mexican. Like South LS, East LS has many criminals lurking about, and it is said that tourists are unsafe even in daytime. The area sees considerable disparities of wealth, with northern districts (e.g. East Vinewood and Mirror Park) being home to the elite and middle classes, districts in central east Los Santos (e.g. El Burro Heights, Murrieta Heights, La Mesa) possessing working class residents, and southern districts being home to many of Los Santos' harsh industrial facilities.

EastLSnextgen

West Los Santos

West Los Santos comprises the neighborhoods that sprawl west from Downtown Los Santos, extending as far as the Pacific Bluffs, at the city's western limits. Whilst not as affluent as North Los Santos, neighborhoods in the west of the city generally still possess high levels of wealth. West LS is home to the city's beautiful beaches that are extremely crowded. The famous Pleasure Pier is located here, boasting various attractions such as a roller coaster or even a Ferris wheel.
WestLSnextgen

Landmarks and Sightings

Skyscrapers and corporate buildings

DowntownLS2-GTAV

Downtown LS.

Los Santos is not as renowned as Liberty City for its cityscape, but many important companies as well as government agencies FIB and IAA are headquartered here. Most of the city's high rises are located in Downtown LS, and the rest are scattered throughout the nearby districts of Little Seoul and Rockford Hills.

Hotels

Los Santos, especially the northern side of the city, is praised for its high quality hotels. There are many famous hotel chains such as the one owned by the affluent Von Crastenburg Family.

Residential buildings

Aside from houses, there are also large apartment buildings for people to live in. These buildings are typically high-end and go up to thousands of dollars in price, except the low-rise housing projects of South Los Santos.

Recreation and sports

MazeBankArena

Maze Bank Stadium.

Los Santos is not only famous for its film culture, but also its sports. There are many famous sports teams in Los Santos that have fans arguing about them on Lifeinvader.

Sports teams

Locations

Art and Culture

Before the Internet age, people went to the various theatres of Los Santos to see movies. These theatres have been used since the 20th century and are what made the Vinewood film industry famous. There are also art museums and galleries located throughout LS.

Government

Back in the old days, when Del Perro and Rockford Hills were independent, there were many different city halls built. These were made obsolete in modern times and serve as just landmarks.

Iconic landmarks

Vinewood-Sign-Background

Vinewood.

There are also many tourist traps in LS. These landmarks are what gave LS a glamorous image.

Infrastructure

Los Santos Traffic - GTAV

Traffic on the Freeway at night.

Air and Seaport

Los Santos has one of the busiest airports in the world, along with one of the busiest seaports in the world. In the LSX, people are traveling to and from Los Santos every day, although there is barely enough infrastructure to support all this activity. The port is used mostly for Chinese goods and suspicious cargo.

Important Highways/Streets

See Interstate System in GTA V and List of Street Names for more information.

Los Santos is also known for its horrible traffic and poorly designed highways. It is said that Los Santos traffic is so bad that a woman ended up carpooling with a dead body. Yet still, Los Santos has a large system of freeways, interstates, and highways that run throughout the city. Commuters can be seen here day and night.

Transportation

Lst logo

Los Santos Transit logo.

Los Santos offers a wide range of transportation, including a connected major highway system, and several other smaller highways, with several exits and on-ramps around the city. The city also has its own rapid transit system named the Los Santos Transit. Buses can also be seen spawned in traffic all around the city. Like most cities, Los Santos traffic is monitored and controlled by the Los Santos Transport Traffic Control System which allows the city to control traffic lights and manipulate conditions and the flow of vehicles on the streets and highways.

Los Santos International Airport (LSX) is located south of Los Santos and is the only airport in the city.

Education

Lossantoselementary

Los Santos is home to many schools and other educational institutions. The most famous one is the University of San Andreas, Los Santos, where the most privileged students attend for good careers. There is also the Los Santos Elementary for children to know the basic learning skills necessary to succeed. Sue Murry used to teach here. In the incorporated city of Davis, there is the Davis High School.

Healthcare

Los Santos boasts a wide variety of hospitals and medical centres. There are more high-end and affluent ones such as Mount Zonah Medical Center, while there are many cheaper ones such as St. Fiacre Hospital.

Law Enforcement

LSPD

See main article: LSPD
Lossantos seal
The Los Santos Police Department (LSPD) is the law enforcement agency that serves the city of Los Santos. They are based on the real life Los Angeles Police Department. Their motto is "Obey & Survive", which is inscripted on their squad cars and also reflects on their corrupt nature. Unlike the LCPD, they use newer Vapid Police Cruisers and also use the Vapid Interceptor, as apposed to the Merit-based Police Patrol, but they still use the Police Maverick as their main squad and helicopter units, respectively. The LSPD is accused of corruption and racism, much like its predecessor and the LAPD in real life.

NOOSE

See main article: NOOSE

The National Office of Security Enforcement also has a presence in the city of Los Santos, as one of its branches is located in the Los Santos International Airport area, while its main headquarters are located in the Palomino Highlands, northeast of the city. When there is dangerous criminal activity, NOOSE is deployed to the scene.

Criminal Justice

Although not seen in-game, Los Santos operates a criminal justice system. In a Weazel News radio segment, a court known as the Los Santos Superior Court is mentioned.

Crime

Los Santos is also the stronghold of the criminal underground. Many of the neighborhoods in Los Santos suffer from high crime rates, specifically the southern part of the city. Since the 1990s, Los Santos is primarily affected from drug trades between many gangs in the city. These drugs include crack, meth, and marijuana as well as a new drug called "Toilet Cleaner".

Besides the drug smuggling, the city suffers from violence, murder, and gang fighting in the southern part of the city (mainly Chamberlain Hills, Davis, and Strawberry). Most of these crimes are caused by the two long time rival African-American street gangs, The Families and the Ballas. They are involved in arms-trafficking as well, bringing in illegal weaponry such as Assault Rifles and SMGs.

Other than small-time street gangs, there are also influential and organized crime groups in the city. The Marabunta Grande, a powerful Salvadorian crime syndicate, are expanding their operations to Los Santos. They have fierce rivalries with other gangs all across San Andreas that are involved in the narcotics trade.

Not only is there high criminal activity, but there is also corruption amongst city officials and even the police. The LSPD is known for their police brutality; there was even an instance where they shot and killed a dog. According to some sources, LSPD officers are also known for hiring prostitutes, which may explain the high presence of prostitution even in the affluent parts of the city.

Choice of City

When Rockstar Games started to conceptualize Grand Theft Auto V, they felt that they still had work to do in San Andreas. Dan Houser, the English Vice President of Rockstar Games along with his brother, Sam Houser, as well as the VP of Creativity, had given his idea on creating a new Los Santos this time around:

"Sam, my brother, more than anyone, but also the lead artist Aaron Garbut, were both really interested in the idea of doing a proper Los Angeles. We felt we hadn't done that with San Andreas - which was these very small, sketch like cities. Los Angeles and the surrounding countryside would be very interesting, giving us good themes to play on, and lots of good, different gameplay environments - something that allude to aspects of GTA IV and allude to some aspects of San Andreas, but still very fresh and different from the both of them."

Dan Houser also stated that, "The geography you could get outside Los Angeles is spectacular. The contrast between desert/rural Southern California, inland from L.A. and just a bit north, compared to L.A., gives you a great microcosm of red state/blue state theme - different vibes culturally as much as geographically. I think this would be good about this location."

When asked about what elements were Rockstar Games comfortable with leaving behind and what elements they wanted to preserve from San Andreas, Rockstar Games' Aaron Garbut said that they wanted the new world of Los Santos to feel "very fresh" and that there reference for the world of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV "wasn't the city from the earlier games." Aaron also stated that this version Los Santos is an, "entirely fresh game world waiting to be explored and experienced."

Once asked what is difference between Los Santos in GTA: San Andreas and in GTA V, Aaron stated that the focus of San Andreas was gang culture, while the focus of GTA V is about contemporary culture of L.A. as a whole, with the difference between the two is that GTA V is "so much broader."

Christmas

On December 24th 2013, Rockstar added snow to Grand Theft Auto Online. It covered the whole city and was visible from far away. Also, the nights were made darker and time went faster, just like it does in real life on Christmas.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Los Santos was first revealed in the debut trailer for GTA V.
  • After travelling long enough in GTA IV, the stats will record miles traveled from Liberty City to Los Santos.
  • The pedestrian stop/start walk signs show a man strutting.
  • Los Santos is the first city in the GTA series to feature an elementary school. However, the elementary school was removed during gameplay, probably due to controversy.
  • Los Santos is the only city so far in the HD Universe with highways wider than four lanes.
  • Los Santos in the HD Universe has the highest sky limit than any other GTA game in the 3D and HD Universes.
  • During nighttime, the sky turns into a dark yellow colour. However, as soon as the player exits the city, the sky turns back to normal. This is a reference to how polluted Los Angeles is due to the smog covering the skies.
    • Los Santos became "the most polluted city in the world" after a fierce battle with the city of Beijing in 2013.
  • The Seal of LS has an Epsilon Program logo at the top.
  • Just like Los Angeles, Los Santos is accused of having terrible traffic. This can be seen when sometimes switching to Michael or Franklin, where they will be stuck on the highway with lots of congestion.
    • Oddly, traffic jams are scripted, and do not happen in normal gameplay.
  • It is revealed in the Loot & Wank website that there were riots in Los Santos several years ago, which is a reference to the Los Angeles riots.

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