The war started in 2001, three years after the belligerent gangs worked together as the Southside Hoods, to assist the Leone Family in driving the rival Forellis out of their turf. In 2001, the Purple Nines got their hands of supplies of the SPANK drug, and started selling it on the streets. The Jacks, however, did not share their view of the drug, opposing it for unknown reasons. This difference slowly damaged the relationship between both gangs, until a full-blown gang war between both factions broke out.
By the time Claude had arrived to Shoreside Vale, the war was already in full swing. At this point, the status of the war cannot be determined clearly. D-Ice, the leader of the Red Jacks, contacted Claude through a payphone at Wichita Gardens, giving him the task of killing as many Nines as possible in a drive-by spree to weaken the gang. Later on, under Ice's orders, Claude intercepted and destroyed a number of SPANK-laden armored vans with an RC car truck. In retaliation for Claude's attacks, the Purple Nines rigged D-Ice's Infernus with a sensitive time bomb, forcing Claude to drive the car through Liberty City into a garage in Saint Mark's, Portland.
Following Claude's intervention in the war, the Nines sustained severe losses, and the Jacks gained the upper hand. The few remaining survivors, refusing to go down easily, challenged the Jacks to one final, old fashioned baseball bat gang war. After being given the details of the situation, Claude picked up D-Ice's younger brother at Wichita Gardens, and the two headed to the designated spot at the Staunton View Picnic Area, meeting the last Nines gangsters there. A short confrontation between the two groups ensued, but Claude and D-Ice's brother managed to hold their ground and defeat the Purple Nines troop. This fight marked the presumed end of the Purple Nines, and the closing of the war with the Red Jacks' victory. After this, the Purple Nines are wiped out from the city.