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Beta Releases in Grand Theft Auto III

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Before the release of Grand Theft Auto III, there were features that were removed from the final product. These changes range from deleted vehicles and player skins to the removal of entire characters and mission strands.


  • Claude's appearance went through many different designs. Some screenshots show a poorly detailed Claude, who looks completely different from the final version. Other pictures show a more final Claude with different hair and a chubbier appearance.[1]
  • The character Curtly was cut. [2]
  • The character Darkel was also cut.[2]
  • Tom Novy was meant to make an appearance in the game as himself.[3]
  • 8-Ball's real name was going to be Mullan, as shown on alpha screenshots.[4]
  • Joey Leone's original surname was Sorvino.[5]
  • Salvatore Leone's original name was Frankie Sorvino.[6]
  • Asuka Kasen's original first name was Kemuri.[7]
  • There was a Butler but he never made the final cut[8], no one knows what his purpose was but he was supposed to appear in the mission Waka-Gashira Wipeout! as Donald Loves Butler
  • Kenji Kasen's original surname was Kassen as evidenced of this site, although it's possible this could be a typo.



Notice the Police Officer on the left holding a nightstick.


GTAIII cop cars

The original GTA III police car (top), and the police cars from the released game (bottom).

  • Police Officers originally had mustaches and looked more cartoony.[12]
  • Fire Fighters originally had yellow uniforms as seen in the earlier screenshots.[13]

    The Triads originally sported black outfits and had tattoos.

  • The Triads originally sported black outfits and had tattoos.[14]
  • The FBI had a different uniform. [15]

Buskers in Grand Theft Auto III.

  • Buskers (pictured to the right) were cut/disabled from the game and later introduced in GTA IV. Existence of buskers in GTA III, can be seen in default.ide file at the bottom line that says "#83, busker1, busker1, CIVMALE, STAT_BUSKER, man, 0". Note that the "#" marks the line as "disabled". The busker with the bongos has the same appearances as a college student at the Liberty City Community College in Liberty Campus.
  • There were originally going to be female taxi drivers. [16]
  • Due to an unknown glitch, the models for B_WOM2 and B_WOM3, accessible through the "Change into Pedestrian" cheat code, go unused in the original PS2 version of the game.


  • Originally, when doing Vigilante, Paramedic, or Firefighter missions, the vehicles radio could go out of range - requiring the player to drive closer to the nearest police station/hospital/fire station.[17]
  • Originally, several missions could not be taken at any time, since the leaders were busy.[18]
  • Toni's missions originally had to be completed before advancing to Salvatore's missions.[19]


Gta3 artwork 01

An early beta map of GTA III Liberty City.

  • The city during development stage was very different from the finished version and has more streets and roads. The airport was once in Staunton Island and there were many roads in Shoreside Vale. Callahan Bridge was also absent.
  • Punk Noodles was originally just with a small grass park with two statues.[20] The statue model still exists in the game's files.
Gta3 callahan bridge beta

The original Callahan Bridge.

  • The Callahan Bridge was going to be named West Port Bridge (taken from a sign in Atlantic Quays).
    • The Callahan Bridge also had two suspensions (pictured to the right).
  • There were other area names that supposedly going to be included in the game. These are The Towers, Sewers, Swanksville, Projects, Luigi's Place, Little Italy and Industrial Park. Waterfront Promenade, Westport and Westport Bridge could be seen in some directions going to Trenton and Atlantic Quays.
  • A penitentiary, where Claude and 8-Ball were being transported to in the Introduction, was originally planned to be located on a peninsula in north-east Portland.
  • 8-Ball's Garage was supposedly be in the area names on the screen (Observed in the archives of the PS2 version).
  • In the beta also, the Shoreside Lift Bridge has many roads leading to the bridge. However, a picture of GTA III has the beta picture without the lift bridge. It is possible that the Callahan Bridge took its place in the beta.
  • The Hope Medical College had the same size and width as the Sweeney General Hospital, being a perfect copy. [21]
  • The center of the Liberty City Community College campus building looks different as seen in the pre-release screenshot.
  • The Cochrane Dam was originally smaller.
  • The tall stone walls located in Hepburn Heights were originally chain-link fences. [22]


  • The Airtrain was originally destructible with weapons, much like the DeadDodo. This was likely changed due to the controversy of 9/11.
  • The ability to blow limbs off of non-playable characters was cut, but only from the PS2 version of the game.[1] This can still be activated in the PS2 version via cheat codes.
  • Claude could originally run with the baseball bat.
  • Online multiplayer was cut.[23]
  • Originally, if the player picked up money, the script showed how much money was just picked up. This feature still exists in files, and it's possible to enable it. [24]
  • Police could bust the player while the player was on foot. [25]
  • The game originally featured Lowriders. [26]


Gta3 29

The very early Grand Theft Auto III.

  • The graphics were originally "cartoonish".[27]
  • A very early HUD was very different (pictured to the right), there was a life bar instead of percentage.
  • The radar was light blue instead of orange.[28]
  • Location names had a different color. [29]
  • Blue coronas/markers originally were red domes. [30]
  • Stunt jumps originally had animated "success" screens. [31]


  • Tom Novy - Back to The Streets [32]
  • Conor and Jay - Carry Me Off [33]
  • Marydancin - Wash Him Off [34]


  • In the recent interview about GTA III, the logo was used to be stencil font and other one, a pill-shaped logo similar to GTA 2 logo.

    GTA III original logo.


    First GTAIII logo, notice that looks slightly like GTA2 logo.


Third logo in graffiti style.

  • Unused lines of text within the game's text files contain phrases, such as "You're perfectly healthy, get out of here!" and "I'll just fix you up". These lines of text seem to imply that the game's hospitals were, originally, accessible/usable.[35]
Head radio beta

Beta Head Radio logo.

  • Head Radio had a different logo (pictured to the right). At one point, it shared the same one as Grand Theft Auto 2's Head Radio.
  • Like Grand Theft Auto 1 and GTA 2, the player could originally rename Claude.
  • MSX FM was originally called "Moving Shadow FM".
  • A radio station with Metal and Rock music was cut. This might have been the station that Lazlow mentions on Chatterbox FM.
  • Radio stations such as Liberty FM, Radio Active, WLLC ‘The Zone’ and Liberty Soul FM were all cut during development.
  • A Camera pickup can be found in game files and even activated, but it is unfinished. Its icon was later re-used for snapshots in GTA San Andreas. Its original purpose is unknown.[36]


GTA III Beta Version and Removed Content14:25

GTA III Beta Version and Removed Content


  1. Pre-release | Pre-release | Pre-release | Final Version
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cast of Grand Theft Auto III
  3. Tom Novy
  4. Early game art of 8-Ball
  5. Early game art of Joey
  6. Internal files refer to Salvatore's missions as "FRANK" (american.gxt > [FRANK] SALVATORE MISSIONS), the surname "Sorvino" is used for Joey's early game art, which means that Salvatore's surname originally was Sorvino.
  7. american.gxt > ~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!
  8. Butler in game with the use of modifications
  9. gta3.img > mine.txd and mine.dff
  10. Pre-release screenshot of the Baseball Bat
  11. Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - retrieved from Internet archive
  12. Police officers on the pre-release screenshot
  13. Screenshot of a firefighter next to a firetruck
  14. Screenshot
  15. Screenshot
  16. Screenshot
  17. american.gxt > [A_RANGE] ~g~The ambulance radio is out of range, get closer to a hospital!
    american.gxt > [C_RANGE] ~g~The police radio is out of range, get closer to a police station!
    american.gxt > [F_RANGE] ~g~The fire truck radio is out of range, get closer to a fire station!
  18. american.gxt > [TONIGO] ~g~Toni's taken his Momma to the opera -Call in some other time!
    american.gxt > [KEMUGO] ~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!
    american.gxt > [KENJGO] ~g~Kenji is attending a Yakuza meeting -Call by some other time!
    american.gxt > [KENSGO] ~g~Kenji is busy! -Call by later!
    american.gxt > [HOODGO] ~g~The Hoods are not available at this time!
    american.gxt > [JOEYGO] ~g~Joey's out on the town with Misty -Drop by later!
    american.gxt > [LOVEGO] ~g~Donald Love has other business to attend to -Make an appointment later!
    american.gxt > [LUIGGO] ~g~Luigi's interviewing some new girls -Come back later!
    american.gxt > [RAYGO] ~g~Ray has other toilets to hang around -Try again later!
  19. american.gxt > [FRANGO] ~g~Salvatore wants you to help Toni deal with the Triads first!
  20. Screenshot
  21. Screenshot
  22. Beta video in which a fence surrounds Hepburn Height's towers.
  23. GTA III Multiplayer Leftover (Analysis)
  24. Beta analysis video (3:48)
  25. Beta video in which Claude is arrested on foot.
  26. Beta video in which a Lowrider's capabilities are demonstrated.
  27. Screenshot
  28. Screenshot
  29. Screenshot
  30. Screenshot
  31. Beta video in which the "success" message is animated.
  32. Tom Novy - "Back To The Streets"
  33. Conor and Jay - "Carry Me Off"
  34. Marydancin - "Wash Him Off"
  35. american.gxt > [HEALTH1] Get outta here! You're perfectly healthy.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH2] Healthcare costs.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH3] I'll just fix you up.
    american.gxt > [HEALTH4] That will be $250.
  36. Beta analysis video (2:28)

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