- "I guess you getting involved with a clapped out, old agent who's been living off his past glories was your first mistake. You're my boy now, amigo. My career depends on this, and that's very important to me. So seeing as we're all boys now, that makes it important to you."
- ― Steve Haines
Nothing is known about Haines' early life, apart from him being born in 1975 (possibly in Los Santos), joining the FIB in 1993 and in the following years becoming such a highly decorated and high-ranking FIB agent, to the point that he was given to lead his own FIB unit and becoming the handler and boss of several well-known FIB agents, including agent Andreas Sanchez and agent Dave Norton, who in 2004 faked the death of infamous bank robber, Michael Townley, and provided him with his new identity of Michael De Santa. However, despite the decorations from the Bureau, leading his own unit and being famous as the host of a TV show called The Underbelly Of Paradise, where he makes reports on gang activity and the overall criminal underworld of Los Santos since 2008, Haines (as well as his FIB unit and Norton) was infamously corrupt and also known to be on the payroll of several wealthy and powerful people, including eccentric billionaire Devin Weston, whom Haines considers a "friend."
Events prior to Grand Theft Auto V
At the time GTA V takes place, the FIB and the rival IAA are in a heated battle to secure government funding after cuts had been made to the budgets of both organizations due to terrorist activity that has calmed down and Haines is one of the main FIB agents that actively engages in attempts to sabotage the IAA, in order to gain more prestige within the Bureau and secure more funding from the US government.
Events of Grand Theft Auto V
In 2013, Haines uses his influence over agent Dave Norton to force former bank robber Michael De Santa, psychopathic drug dealer Trevor Philips, and Chamberlain Gangsters Families member Franklin Clinton to aid him in his plans to sabotage the IAA's operations and thus secure more government funding for his own agency. The first of these plans involves kidnapping Ferdinand Karimov, an IAA prisoner/informant.
Some time later, Haines again contacts Michael and Trevor for another job. This time, Trevor has to interrogate the person they kidnapped earlier, Mr. K so that they could locate and kill a suspected terrorist called Tahir Javan. Trevor brutally tortures Mr. K for information, while Haines watches and asks the questions and relays the answers to Michael and Dave Norton, who have been sent to take out Javan. Eventually, Mr. K tells Haines that Javan lives in Chumash and describes him - bearded, left-handed and chain-smoking, which is sufficient enough for Michael to identify Javan and take him out, while he is hosting a party at his home. After the job is done, Haines leaves to play racquetball, but not before ordering Trevor to kill Mr. K. Instead, Trevor helps Mr. K escape by driving him to the Los Santos Airport, with the sole reason for this act being that Trevor dislikes taking orders from "government creeps" like Haines.
Michael, Franklin, and Trevor meet up with Haines, Dave Norton, and Andreas Sanchez at the Murrieta Oil Field to discuss business. Once there, Steve and Dave tell the protagonists that the FIB want to rob the IAA. The target: an armored car filled with funds the Agency earned from drug sales and according to Haines, the Agency is planning to use these funds to fund a war on the streets to strike fear and get a big bump in funding. Haines wants to "requisition" those funds for the Bureau. Using boiler suits, masks, a tow truck and a getaway vehicle, the trio escape with the funds and give them to Haines and Norton.
Haines and Norton meet with Michael and Trevor, who are now exiled to Sandy Shores (due to Trevor assaulting cartel boss Martin Madrazo and kidnapping his wife Patricia Madrazo). This time, the FIB want to raid an IAA compound, where according to Haines' sources, the Agency is developing an experimental neurotoxin that they are planning to release in a metropolitan area in order to make it look like it was the work of terrorists and in order to receive funds from the government. However, to do raid the compound, they have to obtain a helicopter costing $3 million and order Michael and Trevor to find the funds, but to keep Haines and Norton out of it, effectively leaving them on their own. Michael and Trevor do not have the money to finance the caper, so they decide to contact Lester Crest about planning another heist. Lester agrees to meet them in Paleto Bay.
When Lester arrives, the three drive to the Blaine County Savings Bank, inspect the bank alarm and the unusual response from the corrupt police, which extorts money from all the local meth labs and weed farms and keeps the money in this particular bank. After much planning, Michael, Trevor, Franklin and a gunman rob the bank. Michael, Trevor and Franklin each get a small cut from the take, while the largest take is given to Haines and Norton, who use the funds to purchase a Cargobob and continue planning further the raid.
Michael, Franklin, and Trevor are called by Haines to go to Cape Catfish. Soon, Steve and Dave Norton arrive. Steve wants the protagonists to raid the compound and steal the chemical weapon, however due to a lack of manpower, a reluctant Steve and Dave join the caper. Soon, the three reach their destination and infiltrate the lab, taking out scientists and guards along the way. Once they reach the interior of the lab and after convincing a scientist to open the lab door, Michael is able to grab the chemical weapon. An alarm is triggered and armed security guards begin to appear. Haines, Norton and Michael push through to the lab's garage area and go outside, where the refrigeration unit meant to transport the chemical weapon is located; Michael places the weapon in this container. Trevor arrives with the Cargobob to pick the trio and the refrigeration unit. However, Steve suddenly insists that the heat is too great and that they call off the operation, but Michael argues that they've went so far and that they must finish the job. Michael and Dave are picked up by Trevor and escape with the help of Steve, who runs back into the lab's garage, where he shoots himself in the leg, then presents himself as a hero to the arriving security agents. However, the agent in charge - the United Liberty Paper Contact, doesn't believe Steve and orders a protesting Haines to be detained and possibly interrogated, however he would later be released.
After some time, Haines and Norton meet with Michael in Lester's workplace. Haines explains to Michael that some FIB agents question Haines' methods and that they have compromising information about Haines. Haines orders Michael to break into the FIB headquarters and steal the information, with Haines supposedly promising to cut Michael and his friends loose after this job. With the help of Franklin and some hired gunmen, Michael successfully breaks in the building and escapes, wiping out the evidence in the process and destroying Haines' leverage over him.
After the raid of the FIB HQ, more and more suspicion from the FIB and the IAA begins to fall upon Haines, making him become increasingly paranoid. Intending to cover his involvement in the raid and all the illegal sabotages against the IAA, Haines goes to the Kortz Center with agent Sanchez to meet up with Michael and Norton, whom he betrays and attempts to have them arrested for the raid, but he gets betrayed by Sanchez, who alerted some of their enemies to their location. Separate groups consisting of IAA agents, led by the United Liberty Paper contact, rival FIB operatives, working with Sanchez and a Merryweather battalion arrive.
The situation quickly breaks into violence as Haines is shot in the leg by a member of the FIB team and in retaliation, Haines kills Sanchez and escapes, leaving Michael and Norton behind to die, however they manage to shoot their way out of the center and escape, with the help of Trevor, who removes his earlier vow of killing Michael and wants Michael in for the "Big Score" - robbing the Union Depository, which later becomes successful.
After the shootout at the Kortz Center, an infuriated Haines wishes to have all three protagonists killed, but Dave manages to calm him down and convinces him to go after Trevor due to Trevor's actions that would bring further heat and attention to Haines and that Michael and Franklin could at least be controlled and kept quiet. Ultimately, Haines decides to spare Michael and Franklin, but that Trevor has to die. He and Dave meet with Franklin and tasks him to kill Trevor. However, unbeknownst to Haines, Devin Weston simultaneously hired Franklin to kill Michael as revenge for meddling in Weston's affairs and for accidentally getting his lawyer killed. As he can't kill both, Franklin is left with three choices: kill Trevor, kill Michael or save them both and team up to take down their enemies.
If Franklin chooses option A, he kills Trevor with Michael's assistance on Haines' orders. Afterwards, Haines calls Franklin and he informs him that he's done as requested and also asks him to persuade Devin Weston not to go after him for sparing Michael. Haines tells Franklin that he'll handle Weston, because Merryweather has lost its licence to operate in the state, but also tells him never to contact him again.
If Franklin chooses option B, he kills Michael on Devin Weston's orders. Afterwards, Franklin calls Weston to inform him that he's done as requested and also to ask him to persuade Haines not to go after him for not killing Trevor. Weston tells Franklin he's already handled Haines and Norton, but tells him he's no longer useful to him and tells him never to contact him again.
If Franklin chooses option C, he meets with Lester to tell him about his current situation. At first, Lester suggests killing both Michael and Trevor, but eventually thinks of the perfect plan - he will call Haines and Weston and lie to them that the protagonists are melting the stolen gold from the Union Depository heist at a foundry in Murrieta Heights and that once Haines and Weston are at the foundry, they can take them out. The plan is a success as Franklin, Michael and Trevor take out in a massive three-way shootout Haines' corrupt FIB unit and Weston's private Merryweather batallion, thus eliminating both Haines' and Weston's criminal muscle. The protagonists then decide to eliminate their enemies once and for all, agreeing to kill those they weren't directly associated with to throw off suspicion. They call Lester, who tells them the current locations of Haines, Devin Weston, Stretch and Wei Cheng. Trevor eagerly leaves to kill Haines, who is shooting an episode of his show at the ferris wheel on Del Perro Pier due to the fact that Trevor wanted to kill Haines since the moment he met him, while Michael and Franklin go after Stretch and Cheng. Trevor arrives at the pier and tells Lester to patch in Haines' radio mic so that Trevor could have a last reminder of how annoying Haines was. While Haines is trying to correctly say his scripted TV lines infront the cameraman, Trevor carefully takes aim at Haines with a sniper rifle (or any other weapon, based on the player's choice) and shoots Haines, killing him.
Aftermath of The Third Way
- A news article will shortly appear:
Los Santos Meteor Newspaper
"Steve Haines, decorated FIB agent and host of the popular TV show "The Underbelly Of Paradise" unwittingly helped expose that underbelly further yesterday as he was assassinated while filming a segment of his TV show on the Ferris Whale on Del Perro Pier. Agent Haines, who had twice recently been injured in the line of duty, had been an agent for nearly 20 years and a TV host for five. FIB spokesman Gary Lane told the Los Santos Meteor "Agent Haines died a hero, doing what he loved, which was presenting a TV show. He really helped combine the chaos of anti-terrorism and the mindlessness of network television into one highly successful career." Mr. Haines who was not married, lived with his mother."
- Dave Norton will call Michael and reveal to him that he will replace Steve as the host of the Underbelly of Paradise program after Steve's death.
As stated above, Haines is a corrupt FIB agent, who does not hesitate when it comes to breaking the law and Bureau procedure and policy if there is an opportunity to further advance his career. Haines first appears to be pleasant and charming on his TV show, but when Michael meets him in person, he is shown to be selfish, arrogant and overly confident in dialogue, thinking solely about his career and going as far as curiously asking Michael if he has ever heard of Haines or his show and sounding highly displeased at the end when Michael makes it clear he has never heard of Haines and/or his show. His true colors are shown, however when Michael begins to jokingly mock Haines and his partners over their rogue activities. Steve plays along and even compliments Michael on his quick wit at first, however his temperament quickly changes when he grabs Michael by the throat and threatens to strangle him to death if he continues to disrespect him, thus showing that Haines is in reality an intimidating and egotistical sociopath, who has little respect or tolerance for others, only looking to achieve his own goals and whose entire motivation revolves around how he can better his career and image. He has a sadistic sense of humor and easily loses his temper - almost choking Michael to death for making a few wisecracking jokes at his expense, which also extends to his own attempts at wisecracks. However, due to his snide and arrogant personality, most of them fall flat. Despite these traits, Dave Norton tries to assure Michael that they're not that different and that Haines and Norton are less corrupt than some divisions in the FIB, but over time it is shown that even Norton has so much control over Haines, as the rest of the protagonists. Haines is despised by almost everyone he comes into contact with (most noticeably by Michael and Trevor, who both share a deep hatred towards Haines) and claims a personal friendship with Devin Weston (it is implied that it was Weston's influence that brought Haines to his current position in the FIB). Haines has no qualms with torturing and/or killing suspects or people he sees as standing in the way of his career. This is shown when he has Trevor Phillips brutally torture a seemingly innocent man for information on another possible terror suspect, before casually ordering Phillips to murder the man when he is of no further use to Haines. Also the man was more than willing to reveal the information to Steve, who preferred to torture the man first and after finishing with the torture session, Haines happily left to play racquetball. This implies that Haines is a sadist and truly enjoys the suffering of others.
Haines is an opportunist: he uses Michael De Santa, Trevor Philips, and Franklin Clinton to do his dirty work and ends up betraying them when not having any further use of them and is also willing to sacrifice others to save his own skin which is evident when he attempts to have Dave Norton and Michael De Santa arrested to deflect blame for all the criminal activities they participated in. Haines claims several times that he is a patriot and would do anything for his country, but when planning to raid the IAA compound and steal an experimental neurotoxin that was going to be released by the IAA in a metropolitan area in order to receive funds from the government, Haines is shown not willing to get his hands dirty and preferring to stay behind and leaving the protagonists to do the job themselves, implying Haines's cowardly nature and confirming it in The Third Way, when if Trevor shoots Haines' cameraman and runs over to Haines, Haines will be in a crouching position, with his hands over his head.
Since 2008, Haines has been the host of the Underbelly of Paradise - a reality TV show that explores (and exploits) the poorer, crime-ridden streets of Los Santos and all the gangs that have their own turfs in the city, including the Ballas, the Chamberlain Gangsters Families, the Vagos and even the Lost MC, who had been tracked down for years from the FIB, according to Haines. If Franklin chooses option C, then Trevor will track down Haines, who is shooting an episode of his show at Del Perro Pier and will end up getting killed by Trevor. Shortly after Haines' (optional) death, agent Dave Norton will call Michael and reveal to him that he will become the host of the show after Haines' death.
Characters murdered by Steve Haines
- Andreas Sanchez - Murdered for passing information on Haines' criminal activities and for working with a rival FIB team.
- GTA V
- Three's Company
- By The Book (Boss)
- Blitz Play (Boss)
- Paleto Score Setup (Boss)
- Derailed (Post-mission phone call)
- Monkey Business (Boss)
- Cleaning Out the Bureau
- The Wrap Up (Betrayal)
- Lamar Down
- Something Sensible (Option A; Boss/Post-mission phone call)
- The Third Way (Option C; Killed)
- "I-I gotta remember to write that down and to shoot you in your head, you annoying dick." - Haines to Michael after hearing one of Michael's wisecracking jokes.
- " 'Cause let me tell you something, that guy gets more tail than a... a tail catcher." - Haines about Devin Weston.
- "It's been great, but Dave here has got a Pilates class." - Haines after meeting Trevor and Michael during their exile to Sandy Shores.
- "Un-fucking-orthodox? You've ruined my career! Agent Sanchez, arrest these men." - Haines betraying Michael and Dave.
- "You fuckin' rat. I knew you didn't have the balls for this. For the record! I'm a patriot! I love my country!" - Haines after discovering that Sanchez has betrayed him.
- Haines is similar to Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption antagonist Edgar Ross. Both men are corrupt federal agents that blackmail the protagonists into doing their dirty work, and both eventually betray the protagonist by setting them up to be killed. Unlike in Redemption, Haines' plot to have the protagonist he betrayed murdered can fail or succeed based on the player's choices.
- Agent Haines bears many similarities to LSPD Officer Frank Tenpenny, the main antagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Both Haines and Tenpenny are corrupt law enforcement officials who use their position to force the protagonist(s) to commit crimes on their behalf to further their own careers. However, unlike Tenpenny, Haines can get away with his crimes if the player chooses to assassinate either Michael or Trevor.
- Strangely, Haines considers Devin Weston a "friend." But when Weston hires Franklin to kill Michael and Franklin mentions that Haines and Norton have already hired Franklin to kill Trevor, Devin will blow off Haines and Norton as "clowns" and that he wouldn't even employ them in one of his shopping malls.
- After Haines' death, a news article will reveal that he was unmarried and lived with his mother. This references real-life FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who was unmarried and lived 43 years with his mother.
- Even if Franklin chooses option A or option B, after some time, a Bleeter post will appear about Haines' death. This is more than likely an oversight.
- Even after his death he will still appear on his show, although these could be reruns.
- According to the Rush Casting Call, Haines' beta name was Mitch Hayes.
- In his show, The Underbelly of Paradise, he implies that the FIB (or his unit, at least) have a community approach with the Ballas. As he tries to prove this, he greets a Ballas member, only to be amusingly talked back and insulted by the gang member, who clearly knows about Haines and his show.
- Haines is one of the few characters to survive a canon gunshot. A few others being, Roman Bellic, Pathos, and Sean "Sweet" Johnson.
- He has been shot twice in the leg. First at the IAA compound when he shoots himself in the leg and second at the Kortz Center when he is shot in the leg by a FIB operative.
- His voice actor is Robert Bogue, who previously voiced another GTA character, Troy. In the end of The Ballad of Gay Tony Troy is promised to get his own reality show. Ironically, Steve has his own reality show, The Underbelly of Paradise.
- His phone number was 328-555-0150.