- "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.
Los Santos serves as the County Seat of Los Santos County, and is the Principal City of the Los Santos Metropolitan Area.
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.
- Downtown Los Santos (Downtown Los Angeles)
- Textile City (Fashion District)
- Mission Row (Skid Row)
- Pillbox Hill (Bunker Hill)
- Legion Square (Pershing Square)
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.
- Alta (Chinatown)
- Burton (Beverly Grove)
- Rockford Hills (Beverly Hills and Century City)
- Vinewood (Hollywood)
- Richman (Bel Air and Holmby Hills)
- West Vinewood (West Hollywood)
- Vinewood Hills (Hollywood Hills)
- Downtown Vinewood (Downtown Hollywood)
- Hawick (Melrose)
- Strawberry (Crenshaw and Inglewood)
- Davis (Compton)
- Rancho (Watts and Florence)
- Chamberlain Hills (Baldwin Village)
- La Puerta (San Pedro)
- Banning (Wilmington)
- Elysian Island (Terminal Island)
- Terminal (Long Beach Harbor)
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.
- East Vinewood (Silver Lake and Echo Park)
- Mirror Park (Echo Park Lake)
- East Los Santos (East Los Angeles)
- La Mesa (Arts District)
- El Burro Heights (Signal Hill)
- Murrieta Heights (Boyle Heights)
- Cypress Flats (Vernon)
- Murrieta Oil Field (Long Beach Oil Fields)
West Los SantosWest 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.
- Little Seoul (Koreatown)
- Morningwood (Westwood)
- Del Perro (Santa Monica)
- Pacific Bluffs (Pacific Palisades)
- Backlot City (Culver City)
- Vespucci Canals (Venice Canals)
- Vespucci (Venice Beach)
- Puerto Del Sol (Marina del Rey)
Landmarks and Sightings
Skyscrapers and corporate buildings
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.
- 3 Alta Street Tower (801 Tower)
- Arcadius Business Center (Westin Bonaventure Hotel)
- Badger Building (Capitol Records Building)
- FIB Headquarters (One California Plaza)
- IAA Headquarters (Two California Plaza)
- Lombank Building (100 Wilshire Building)
- Lombank Tower (Figueroa Tower)
- Maze Bank Tower (US Bank Tower)
- Mile High Club (JW Marriott & Ritz-Carlton hotels) (under construction)
- Penris Building (Wedbush Securities Building)
- Richards Majestic Tower (Constellation Place)
- Schlongberg Sachs Center (Citigroup Center)
- Union Depository Tower (Mellon Bank Center & Gas Company Tower)
- Weazel Plaza (Fox Plaza)
- WIWANG Tower (5900 Wilshire & Aon Center)
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.
- Banner Hotel & Spa (Fairmont Miramar Hotel)
- The Emissary (Millennium Biltmore Hotel)
- Generic Hotel (Standard Hotel)
- Gentry Manor Hotel (Chateau Marmont Hotel)
- Hookah Palace (Figueroa Hotel)
- Opium Nights (Sheraton Gateway Hotel)
- Pegasus Concierge Hotel (Sunset Tower)
- Richman Hotel (Beverly Hills Hotel)
- Rockford Dorset Hotel (Beverly Wilshire Hotel)
- Vinewood Von Crastenburg Hotel (Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel)
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.
- Dream Tower (Wilshire Christian Manor)
- Eclipse Towers (Sierra Towers)
- Kayton Towers (Central Plaza)
- Rancho Projects (Nickerson Gardens)
- Tinsel Towers
- Weazel Plaza (Fox Plaza)
Recreation and sports
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.
- Boars Baseball Club (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
- Los Santos Corkers Baseball Team (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Feud Baseball Team
- Los Santos Kings Hockey Team (Los Angeles Kings)
- Los Santos Panic Basketball Team (Los Angeles Lakers)
- San Andreas Magnetics
- Del Perro Plaza (Portofino Plaza)
- Los Santos Golf Club (Los Angeles Country Club)
- Maze Bank Arena (Great Western Forum & Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)
- Pleasure Pier (Pacific Park)
- Puerto Del Sol Yacht Club (Marina City Club)
- Rockford Plaza (Beverly Center)
- Vinewood Bowl (Hollywood Bowl)
- Vinewood Racetrack (Hollywood Racetrack)
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.
- Betsy O'Neal Pavilion (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)
- Doppler Cinema (Hollywood Pacific Theatre)
- Kortz Center (Getty Center)
- Oriental Theater (Grauman's Chinese Theater)
- San Andreas Gallery of Modern Art (SAGMA)
- Sisyphus Theater (Greek Theatre)
- Ten Cent Theater (Million Dollar Theater)
- Tivoli Cinema (Fox Bruin Theater)
- Valdez Theater (Wiltern Theater)
- Whirligig Theater (El Capitan Theater)
- Weazel Morningwood (Fox Theater, Westwood Village)
- Davis City Hall (Comptom City Hall)
- Del Perro City Hall (Santa Monica City Hall)
- Los Santos City Hall (Los Angeles City Hall)
- Rockford Hills City Hall (Beverly Hills City Hall)
There are also many tourist traps in LS. These landmarks are what gave LS a glamorous image.
- Rancho Towers (Watts Towers)
- Sightings Bar & Restaurant (Theme Building)
- Tequi-la-la (Whiskey a Go Go)
- Vinewood Boulevard (Hollywood Boulevard)
- Vinewood Sign (Hollywood Sign)
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.
- Los Santos International Airport (Los Angeles International Airport)
- Port of Los Santos (Port of Los Angeles)
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.
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.
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.
- Davis High School (Compton High School)
- Los Santos Elementary
- University of San Andreas, Los Santos (University of California, Los Angeles)
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.
- Central Los Santos Medical Center (Los Angeles County General)
- Eclipse Medical Tower (Sunset Medical Tower)
- Mount Zonah Medical Center (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)
- Pillbox Hill Medical Center (California Hospital Medical Center)
- St. Fiacre Hospital
- See main article: LSPD
- 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.
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.
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."
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.
- 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.