- For the other members of the Bellic Family, see Bellic.
- "Life is complicated. I've killed people, smuggled people, sold people. Perhaps, here... things will be different."
- ―Niko Bellic
Niko Bellic (Serbian: Нико Белић) is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV and a supporting character in The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.
Niko grew up in Yugoslavia, present day Serbia, where he fought in the Yugoslav Wars. He later worked for organized crime syndicates as a hired-gun in Liberty City. Ever since the Yugoslav Wars ended, Niko's main goal in life was to find and kill one of two men: Florian Cravic and Darko Brevic, for one of them betrayed and nearly killed him during the Wars. Niko is the cousin of Roman Bellic, son of Milica Bellic, and the cousin-in-law of Mallorie Bardas.
Early life and family
Niko was born in Eastern Europe, most likely the Balkans. It was implied that his father was an abusive alcoholic. His mother, Milica Bellic, was unhappy that her son grew up in such a harsh place. In a conversation with Patrick McReary, Niko reveals that he had a brother who died during the Bosnian War. According to the dialogue in the mission Taking in the Trash, Niko dreamt of becoming an astronaut when he was a child. In a conversation with Dwayne Forge, Niko mentions the place he grew up did not have electricity until he was twelve. In a conversation with Kate McReary, Niko says that he found out his aunt (Roman's mother) was raped and murdered, some time after Roman's departure to the United States; knowing Roman would be even more devastated if he knew the true circumstances of his mother's death, Niko covered up what happened, telling him that she died in a house fire.
Niko grew up in the harsh environment of the Yugoslav Wars, and was a teenage soldier (The Yugoslav Wars being between 1991 and 1995, this means Niko was only 13-17 years old at the time). Niko says that he was betrayed "ten years ago", making it closer to 1997 or 1998 (although Florian claims that its was "twelve or thirteen years ago" in a phone call after the mission That Special Someone). He served as a helicopter pilot and an infantryman during the war, and during the mission Easy Fare, Roman alludes to him driving a tank.
During the war, Niko both witnessed and committed numerous atrocities, which led to his cynical perspective on life, and a certain degree of regret, depression, and emotional detachment. Eventually, Niko's unit of fifteen men (most of them friends from his hometown) were ambushed by enemy forces, but Darko Brevic, Florian Cravic, and Niko himself survived. Niko concluded that either Florian or Darko had sold the group out, and he vowed to uncover and kill the culprit, not only to gain revenge, but also to hopefully 'close the book' on the incident, and move on with his life.
Niko had trouble finding steady work after the war. Niko's cousin, Roman, had already moved to America to start a new life in Liberty City while Niko spents the next decade working in the European criminal underworld, leading to a period of incarceration. After his release from prison, he began working for a human trafficking ring led by Ray Bulgarin; when a boat involved in the operation sank in the Adriatic during a smuggling run into Italy, Niko swam to safety, but everything and everyone else was lost. Bulgarin believed that Niko had intentionally scuttled the ship and stole his money; the gangster's reach was too great within Europe, so Niko joined the merchant navy to escape Bulgarin's influence. Niko also recalls to Roman Bellic that their house had burnt down in Europe and there was only one bottle of Vodka left and they sat down and finished it off during the conversation in Roman's Sorrow.
Events of GTA IV
During the game, Niko says he moved to Liberty City because he wanted a new life by living the American Dream, but when he does arrive in Liberty City, he has nothing except Roman. Niko parted ways with Hossan and the Platypus crew there, partly to reunite with his cousin, and partly to track down Florian Cravic, who had moved to Liberty City after the war. Roman had been boasting of great success in Liberty City, but in truth, his assets amounted to a small, gritty taxi depot and rundown apartment, and he was saddled with heavy debts due to his gambling habit. Niko would assist Roman in his taxi business, and protect his cousin from the loan sharks who were harassing him. Roman's connections eventually led to Niko taking work with the Russian Mafia, setting in motion the events of the game.
After killing Vlad, Niko is nearly killed by Dimitri Rascalov & Mikhail Faustin; but spared. After killing Mikhail, Dimitri reveals his connections with Ray Bulgarin and turns against him, even trying to kill him. Niko and Roman were then run out of Hove Beach in Roman's Sorrow, in which his Broker Safehouse and Roman's taxi depot were burnt down. It is at this point that Niko becomes a hitman and an associate of many. He develops affiliations and becomes a worker of the McReary Family, Playboy X, Dwayne Forge, the Pegorino Family and some others over the course of the game. Maximizing his hatred of Dimitri, Rascalov gets Roman kidnapped.
Niko eventually becomes in forced contact with the United Liberty Paper, who blackmails him into doing some "country-protecting" work. Also, Ray Boccino managed to help Niko find Bernie Crane; when he confronts him, Bernie, begging for forgiveness, claims he is not only a homosexual but that he is not the one who betrayed Niko (despite escaping). Niko forgives him and actually begins helping Bernie with his life.
The U.L.P. successfully manages to get Bellic Darko Brevic in That Special Someone. Taking into consideration how it will make Niko feel and how Darko is actually living a bad life, Niko is unable to decide whether to kill him. Before choosing, Darko reveals that he betrayed Niko for only $1000, enraging him. The player then decides if he will kill Darko or let him live.
Niko's immigrant status is uncertain, and arouses the suspicion of the LCPD and FIB. Although Niko often protests that he "has his papers" while fleeing police, Roman says that Niko does not have a visa. This is further evidenced in a Liberty Tree article about the death of the Platypus's captain, Zorba Philippidis, which states that none of the crew possess visas.
Niko has brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a facial hair that looks somewhat "scruffy" 5 o'clock shadow, that fits his 'thug' appearence very well. Niko isn't as heavily muscled than Luis or Johnny and he's more slender than both of them. Still, Niko has enough physical strenght to hold his own in a fistfight and he's capable of pulling himself on a ledge after hanging by his straight arms. Niko is most likely 5'11" (based on Yugoslavia average male height and by comparing Niko's height to other characters in game) making Niko about as tall as the American characters in game but shorter than Yugoslavia average height. This would make Gerald and Ray be about 6' tall while Patrick and Little Jacob about 5'10" tall. Niko has a scar running through his left brow. He most likely got the scar during the war but it's unconfirmed. Niko's body is 'average' and Bernie Crane said Niko "is still in great shape" and asking if Niko works out, to which Niko answered he doesn't work out but his dangerous lifestyle keeps him active.
Personality and traits
- Niko: "I'm not cold."
- Roman: "You're cold... all you care about is revenge and getting your own way."
- ―Roman giving his opinion on Niko.
Niko is very protective of his family and loved ones, particularly his cousin Roman, whom Niko constantly has to worry about due to his gambling habit. Roman has an indiscreet nature of frequently getting the pair into trouble. He is withdrawn among strangers, but has good manners, and shows a softer side with love interests like Kate McReary and Michelle; that said, the horrors of war, both witnessed and perpetrated by Niko, have given him a great sense of guilt, and an ambivalence about the value of human life — he warns away pursuers and expresses regret over his past violence, but also feels that killing is all that he can do, readily taking on jobs which necessarily involve murder. Niko is prone to violence after being angered and he has an explosive temper when he is betrayed, manipulated, or his loyalty is questioned, but he is also quick to help the defenseless and unfortunate, even those he merely meets in passing; he apparently possesses a sense of idealism which was wounded by his wartime experiences. Unfortunately, such a split attitude leads to hypocrisy — Niko, for example, appears to genuinely sympathize with the McReary's grief over the demise of one of their brothers (either Derrick McReary or Francis McReary), despite having secretly committed that murder himself.
Niko's bitterness at the murder of his friends during the war has consumed him, and he is unable to let it go, taking on several highly dangerous jobs merely to enable his quest for vengeance. Several of his friends, most notably Roman, urge him to find a new reason to live, and there are many morality choices for Niko to emphasize his trait.
Niko's business-like manner usually leads him to behave more maturely and cautiously than his acquaintances, although with acquaintances like Brucie Kibbutz, Bernie Crane and Roman, this is no surprise. He has an apparent distaste for illicit drugs, much like Carl Johnson. He frequently turns down Little Jacob's offers for marijuana and warns Packie about his cocaine habit; he also finds it distasteful to traffic in cocaine and particularly heroin, although this may be due to the heavy jail sentences they attract as much as any moral qualms. He is skeptical of American mainstream culture, which he sees as shallow and hypocritical and has trouble relating to Roman's fascination with the country. However, he reasons that being in America is far better than back in Serbia due to the country's instability and misery.
Niko also exhibits dislike for American conservative politicians, whom he considers to be hypocrites. An example is Bryce Dawkins, whom Niko says is a "bullshitter" for giving homophobic speeches and preaching about family values to gain political power when he himself is bisexual. However, a conversation between Niko and Kiki Jenkins reveals he considers himself neither liberal nor conservative, and that the war gave him a highly cynical view of politicians in general.
Niko has a certain degree of pity for other people, even random strangers, and feels obliged to help others who cannot help themselves. Most missions involve Niko doing jobs for money, particularly one occasion; after meeting a troubled young girl, Marnie Allen; he even gives her some of his own money multiple times to help her out.
Niko almost always refuses alcohol when it is offered to him (he asks for water in the mission Ivan The Not So Terrible) except for the mission The Holland Play where Playboy X pours him a glass but immediately before taking a sip, Niko changes his mind and puts the glass on a table. There is a scene where Niko does drink a glass of vodka (on the rocks) in the mission One Last Thing, while talking to Jimmy Pegorino, but this is understandable considering what he had just been through. Niko does seem to enjoy a drink, but knows the time and place for it. He refuses alcohol outright in instances where he needs to keep a sharp mind, such as during missions.
LCPD Database record
First Name: Niko
Place of Birth: Unknown
Affiliations: Linked to Russian and West Indian Criminals in Broker
Criminal Record: 2008 - Grand Theft Auto
- Recent immigrant to Liberty City from Eastern Europe
- Appears to be avoiding allegiance to one particular criminal organization.
Naming and Language"Niko" means "Nobody" or "nothing" in the Serbian and Bosnian language. The surname "Bellic" would not exist in the Serbian, Bosnian or Croatian languages, as these do not allow consecutive consonants (i.e., the double-L in "Bellic"); "Bellic" is also pronounced with a hard 'c' ("bel-lik") throughout the game — Niko himself uses the incorrect pronunciation when introducing himself to the receptionist at Goldberg, Ligner and Shyster in the mission Final Interview. A proper pronunciation would use a hard 'ch' (as used in-game with the names "Darko Brevic" and "Florian Cravic"); a more authentic rendering of Niko's surname would be 'Belic'. At one point, Florian, speaking in his native Serbian, pronounces the name correctly; "Bellic" may simply be an Anglicized version of "Belic". Going by that custom, Niko's real name may be Nikola Belic, however this is also unknown.
The first name "Niko" is distinctively Croatian, rather than Serbian — the Serbian equivalent would be "Nikola". In the mission Final Interview, Tom Goldberg refers to Niko as "Nikolai", although this is an assumption on his part — he begins their interview by saying, "Hello, Niko! What's that short for? Nikolai?" Niko does not respond and no one else calls him "Nikolai" in the game.
Niko's voice actor, Michael Hollick, is American, and the accent he assumes for Niko is not a Serbian one; Niko's spoken Serbian is frequently mispronounced or wrongly emphasized.
In artworks and earlier screenshots, Niko had often been seen wearing fingerless gloves. The files still remain in the PC version and can only be used with an in-game trainer. Obtaining them in the game without modding is impossible. The reason why they have been removed from the final version of the game is unknown, but it is likely due to the fact that they are not very inconspicuous.
In early beta versions of GTA IV, Niko had slightly thicker hair and sometimes he can be seen with a buzz cut, neither of which appear in GTA IV, but still exist in the game files.
In Other Media
Niko was voted 13th in the 2011 edition of the Guinness World Records for the Top 50 favorite game characters. His name was incorrectly spelled "Nico Bellic."
Niko appears to be visually inspired by Sasha from the movie Behind Enemy Lines, which takes place in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. Sasha's clothes are even available to buy in the Russian Shop.
- The Lost and Damned
- The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Niko appears in the second longest storyline in the GTA series with 98 missions. (Carl Johnson appears in 104).
- Niko appears in the most missions in the GTA IV era, with 98 missions.
- Diamonds in the Rough and Frosting on the Cake are the only crossover missions not to involve Niko.
- Niko is the only character to appear in three opening cutscenes, as he is present in The Cousins Bellic, Clean and Serene and I Luv LC. However, Niko's appearance in Clean and Serene, in which he is seen pushing past a pedestrian in Alderney, is inaccurate with the story, as he would still be confined to the boroughs of Broker, Dukes, and Bohan.
- It is possible to follow Niko in The Lost and Damned mission Collector's Item. After this, he will become a random pedestrian and you can kill him without failing the mission.
- Niko, along with Patrick McReary, can be fought and killed in The Ballad of Gay Tony mission Ladies Half Price. Niko and Packie have a colossal amount of health, and their deaths do not affect the story.
Characters murdered by Niko Bellic
Main Article: Murders Committed by Niko Bellic
- In an episode of the TV Series Criminal Minds, a criminal states that his name is Niko Bellic in his personal information. An agent catches on, and tells his superiors: "Niko Bellic is the name of the main character of Grand Theft Auto IV ." His superiors stare at him in disbelief, and the agent says "What? I know things!"
- Though Niko is Serbian, he also speaks Russian, according to Roman and Dardan.
- According to some dialogue, many characters think Niko is a sociopath. This however was not proven.
- Niko's hair went through different designs. The beta hair style was the "helmet hair" type hair, then a buzz cut, then finally his new hair in the alpha is a Cesar mid-buzz cut.
- There were rumors that Niko will make an appearance in GTA V but this is has been proven false because his voice actor Michael Hollick got in conflict with Rockstar due to not getting paid more as he asked. Plus, the Rockstar games vice president of creative Dan Houser confirmed that even though there will be some familiar faces from GTA IV and its episodes, he also confirmed to the fans to "Not expect major characters like Niko Bellic or any of the PS2 era game characters".
- Niko meets both DLC protagonists during the story missions, Johnny Klebitz during the missions Blow Your Cover, Museum Piece and Luis Fernando Lopez during the missions Three Leaf Clover (although the two don't exactly meet), Museum Piece, Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend and Niko almost runs him over after Luis exits the building after the mission I Luv LC.
- Along with Johnny Klebitz, Luis Lopez, Roman Bellic, Anthony Prince, Isaac Roth, Mori Green and The Cook Niko Bellic is one of the eight characters in the GTA IV Era to appear in IV, TLAD and TBOGT.
- Niko had a childhood crush on a girl from his village, named Mila Tadic. Roman will confirm this during friend activities.
- Vladimir Glebov calls Niko "Yokel" multiple times in the game. Yokel is a derogatory term for people who grew up in poor countries.
- Niko was a speeder and daredevil before he even left his home country, as Roman comments that he is still a crazy driver.
- A conversation with Manny Escuela during Escuela of the Streets, he claims that he stalked a woman in Europe, however the reason for that is never stated.
- One of Niko's girlfriends, Alexandra Chilton, frequently reveals on her blog that Niko has a very large penis, comments refer to his "bulging package" and how "well-hung" he is. After Niko sleeps with her for the first time, she writes on her blog that she is to discuss this with her friends, Heidi & Paige. Alex also comments that he can be rough and kinky, including a session where he "bullfrogged" her over a washing machine, which she recorded and spanked her with a frying pan, amongst others. She also writes how she once had to steam clean her whole flat after he left. Alex wonders if all Europeans are like that, which also ties in with Niko's cousin, Roman, and his attitude towards sex, as who is often on the prowl for young college girls.
- It can be noted that without the player's control, Niko will never hit female pedestrians. For example, when Niko carjacks someone, the animation can sometimes see him punch or kick the occupant of the car, but he only does this to male drivers. If the driver is female, Niko will just pull her out of the car and not harm her. Rockstar Games included this so as to fit with the personality that had been created for him. Also, some Random Character missions require Niko to beat up men for assaulting women. The only time Niko hits a female without the player's input is during the two-part mission, I'll Take Her, where he punches and knocks out Gracie Ancelotti in order to stop her behaving erratically when he tries to kidnap her for the McRearys, and later when she is tied up, he slaps her to get her attention for a photo to prove to her father he has her held hostage. This is directly referenced to in TBOGT by Luis Lopez, when he also hits Gracie to shut her up during Ladies Half Price.
- Niko is currently the only protagonist to originate from Europe, although Tommy Vercetti and Toni Cipriani have European roots.
- Niko Bellic could be the most popular Grand Theft Auto protagonist to date. A Grand Theft Wiki poll showed that 1826 users thought Niko Bellic was the best protagonist.
- When standing still doing nothing, Niko's random animations will start rolling. These include Niko cracking his knuckles or scratching his testicles and many more. These animations change depending on the weapon you have equipped and they add a little layer of added realism to the game since no human can stand perfectly still forever.
- Niko is similar to GTA III protagonist Claude . Both are the protagonists of the first game of their era, both work as hit men, both men's stories take place in Liberty City, they start off with no money but end up with a large number of cash by the end of their stories, both wear similar outfits (Although Niko can only wear Claude's outfit if he kills Playboy X), both are betrayed by their girlfriends (Claude by Catalina, Niko by Michelle), each work with and later against the mafia, both betray/ kill their a number of their former bosses, and both work for rogue cops.
- Despite holding back tears many times throughout the story, the only time Niko actually cries is when Kate McReary dies during the Revenge storyline.
- At one point during their first random encounter, Eddie Low will ask Niko about his accent. During the conversation he asks if he's from East Europe, mentioning Romania, Bulgaria and the Balkans:
- "Eddie: Where are you from, pal of mine? What's your accent?
Are you from East Europe? Romania? Bulgaria? Balkans?
Niko: Hey, you're a smart guy."
- ―Eddie Low and Niko