|For other characters see Claude (disambiguation).|
- "That fucking snake without a tongue gave me this shithole instead of a pink slip? I must be the biggest fucking idiot in the whole fucking world!"
- — Carl Johnson
Grand Theft Auto series
Claude never speaks in any of his appearances.
Nothing is known about Claude's life before 1992, other than he had emerged as a top contender in an illegal racing ring and owned an abandoned garage in Doherty, San Fierro. Rockstar however states that Claude is: "Definitely a drifter, probably from the west coast, new to Liberty City " (and his) "surname may or may not be Speed".
Events of GTA San Andreas
Racing with Carl Johnson
Claude, in 1992, became involved with Catalina, who had recently split up with Carl Johnson, before racing CJ in a losing effort. Following the loss, he hands over his garage to Johnson, before leaving San Andreas with Catalina. The two head to Liberty City where they embark on a nine year crime spree ending with Catalina's betrayal.
Events of GTA III
Bank Heist and Jailbreak
At the start of the game, Claude and Catalina robbed a bank in Liberty City. Catalina, however, turned on her boyfriend, shooting him and leaving him for dead, justifying her decision with "I'm an ambitious girl, and you're just small time". Claude is arrested by the Liberty City Police Department. He is convicted of all charges and is sentenced to ten years in prison. While being transferred to a prison in Portland View, Claude escapes from a police convoy after the Colombian Cartel attack the convoy to free the Oriental Gentleman. Claude and 8-Ball escape to a safehouse in the Red Light District, before moving on to Luigi's Sex Club 7. Luigi Goterelli, the owner, gives Claude his first job in the city, to drive Misty from the hospital back to the club.
The Leone Family
Claude, successful in his errand, continues to be employed by Goterelli, who also has him kill a drug dealer and two pimps, before having him drive Misty to Joey Leone's Garage. Claude then begins to work for Joey, killing both Mike Forelli and Lee Chong, before chauffering Toni Cipriani, later working for him against the Triads, principally killing three Triads warlords. Claude, impressing the Leone Family hierarchy, is introduced to the Don, Salvatore Leone. Salvatore, 'seeing nothing but good things' for Claude, has him looking after his 'girl' Maria for the evening, kill Curly Bob (who was selling secrets to the Colombian Cartel, now co-led by Catalina) and later destroy a freighter used as a factory for the drug SPANK. During this time, Claude also works for El Burro, the leader of the Diablos, helping him on various tasks, and Marty Chonks in his attempts to get out of his various problems.
After destroying the Cartel freighter, a paranoid Salvatore attempts to kill Claude by having him enter a bomb-laden car. Salvatore's wife Maria, however, pages Claude and directs him to a small pier where the two meet Asuka Kasen, co-leader of the Yakuza, and flee to Staunton Island after Maria had told her husband that she and Claude were an "item". Asuka, unconvinced of Claude's loyalty, has him kill Salvatore Leone to prove himself, before having him kill a number of other people causing her problems. She later introduces him to her brother Kenji and Ray Machowski, a corrupt police man working for the Yakuza. Claude helps Kenji with his problems, including settling debts and freeing a man from prison, and helps Machowski in his attempts to remain unnoticed, eventually helping him flee the city by the airport.
Later Jobs and The Exchange
Claude continues to look for work and finds employment with King Courtney, who has him attack the Diablos before attempting to kill him on orders from Catalina, and Donald Love, who has him kill Kenji Kasen disguised as a Colombian Cartel gangster in a Cartel Cruiser to provoke a war. Asuka, unaware of Claude's role in her brother's near death, launches an assault on a Cartel-controlled building site and begins to torture Miguel, co-leader of the Cartel, into giving away Cartel secrets. Armed with the information, Asuka sends Claude on various missions to hurt Cartel operations, including stopping the selling of and stealing a shipment of SPANK. Claude briefly finds employment with D-Ice, leader of the Red Jacks sub-sect of the Southside Hoods, and attacks the rival Purple Nines into defeat. Claude returns to the building site and finds that Asuka and Miguel are both dead, whilst a ransom note from Catalina, for Maria is left for him.
Claude goes to the Cartel mansion, escapes an ambush, destroys a helicopter piloted by Catalina, thus killing her, and rescues Maria. Maria's fate is left unknown, as whilst Maria is talking, a gunshot is heard that stops the talking; what exactly this gunshot was is unknown. Theories include that Claude killing her or simply shooting in the air to stop her talking or even a sound effect played by the game to signify its end.
Claude is a calm and serious man who appears almost emotionless regardless of the situation. Provided he is paid for his services, he will take orders from his bosses without reluctance or complaint, usually giving a nod to show that he understands, and doesn't respond even when he is scolded or shouted at by his bosses for doing something wrong. He also prostrates to his bosses if required, in Kenji Kasen's case.
For the vast majority of the game, Claude is taciturn and doesn't speak. He will only make a slight grunt when he is hurt, or an "Oh!" whenever he drowns, gets shot, run over, or when he falls down. Unlike other protagonists, he doesn't taunt or shout at his enemies, but may give a driver in a passing vehicle the finger while crossing roads.
Claude remains true to his mission of finding and taking revenge on Catalina for leaving him for dead, even showing the slightest bit of pity for Maria when he allows her to live after freeing her, only to possibly kill her himself. It's also clear that Claude is only out for himself and will use people for his own ends or benefits until he no longer sees a reason to use them anymore; which more often than not ends with Claude killing them.
Claude is a tall Caucasian male in his late twenties to early thirties, with brown hair and a faint 5 O'clock shadow. He always wears a black bomber jacket with bronze zippers with a black T-shirt underneath, green cargo pants and blue sneakers. He has a muscular build, during Give Me Liberty, Claude wears a baggy orange prison jumpsuit with rolled-up sleeves.
In the PC version of GTA III, there is an alternate outfit consisting of a brown leather jacket, blue jeans, sneakers and a brown moustache. Aside from that, Claude is the only 3D-era protagonist (except for Mike) that wears the same clothes throughout the entire game.
Claude's appearance in San Andreas is very similar, though he has a more youthful and detailed face. His clothes consist of a re-skinned black biker jacket with a black T-shirt, olive cargo pants and white and black sneakers.
- GTA III
- GTA San Andreas
- GTA Online
- Players can choose Claude as a father in Grand Theft Auto Online (Collector's Edition and Character Transfers only).
Characters murdered by Claude
|Mike Forelli||Mike Lips Last Lunch||Killed on orders from Joey Leone after the Forellis did not pay their debts.|
|Lee Chong||Farewell 'Chunky' Lee Chong||Killed on orders form Joey Leone for selling SPANK in noodle stands.|
|Curly Bob||Cutting the Grass||Killed on orders form Salvatore for telling the Leone's secrets to the Colombian Cartel.|
|Salvatore Leone||Sayonara Salvatore||Killed on orders from Asuka, to prove that Claude's ties with the Mafia are completely broken.|
|Leon McAffrey||Plaster Blaster||Killed on orders from Ray for turning states evidence.|
|Tanner||Two-Faced Tanner||Killed on orders from Asuka for being an undercover policeman.|
|Kenji Kasen||Waka-Gashira Wipeout||Killed on orders from Donald Love to provoke a war between the Colombian Cartel and the Yakuza.|
|Catalina||The Exchange||Killed by Claude for betraying him in a bank robbery (Opening cutscene).|
- Carl - can be killed after he kills Marty Chonks.
- Chico - can be killed after he sells drugs to Maria.
- D-Ice's Brother - can be killed after a baseball bat fight against the Purple Nines.
- The name "Claude" does not appear in Grand Theft Auto III. Other characters call him by his nicknames (similarly to Claude Speed, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto 2) and the menu lines refer to him as 'player'. However, in the ending cutscenes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when Catalina is phone calling the protagonist CJ, she shouts "Oh, Claude!" with background groans, like Claude and Catalina were having sex. 'Claude' can also be found in GTA III game files, suggesting it could have been planned to be in the main game. Lately, Rockstar used the name in many promotional releases related to previous games, such as the game's 10 years anniversary, which definitely confirmed his name was indeed Claude.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, his and other 3D Universe protagonists names are written on a wall of graffiti with "rest in peace" messages, suggesting they could all have died after the events in the 3D universe (or this may be also a reference to the end of the 3D era). According to Rockstar, this only served as a "little joke to [their] fans".
- Claude, and the GTA Online Protagonist are two of the few characters in the GTA series who do not speak (If you don't count the many protagonists to play as in GTA 1 and GTA London). This was a choice Rockstar Games made at the start of the development process, as they stated, "We had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue." Having a silent protagonist would also help players identify with the character. However, there were rumors that Claude actually spoke in the beta GTA III trailer, saying "Get out of the car!"; Rockstar replied to the rumors that the brief voiceover was fake and was pulled from .RAW files from GTA 2. Also, the "Get out of the car!" had a ", Man!" after he says "car" but it was cut for the trailer.
- In the opening cutscene of the game, at the first mission, "Give Me Liberty", (notably when he rounds the corner and finds Catalina pointing two pistols at him), you can notice Claude's face is notably different in the convoy and onwards (the difference can actually be seen in the gallery of this article). This is because he uses a different model and slightly different texture.
- Also in the game opening, when Catalina shoots Claude, the bullet hits his neck, suggesting a cause for his mutism. However, he also does not speak in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, set years before, so it may be just coincidence.
- In San Andreas, Claude is wearing substitutes for the bomber jacket, cargo pants and sneakers. He is wearing a biker jacket that is available from Victim, black hi-tops from ProLaps, and re-colored olive pants from Binco.
- To celebrate GTA III's 10th anniversary on October 22nd 2011, Rockstar Games released an official Claude action figure in association with Sideshow Collectibles. The figure comes complete with both of Claude's outfits (his standard outfit and prison uniform), along with several weapons to pose him with. Only 1,600 were produced, and as of late 2012, they have sold out.
- The Claude action figure looks different from his game look.
- Going by the release date of the games, he is the first protagonist of the 3D Universe. Although chronologically, he is the last 3D Universe protagonist.
- He is one of the six protagonist in series that shares name with another protagonist. In this instance, it's Claude Speed from Grand Theft Auto 2. Others are Mike and Michael De Santa from Grand Theft Auto: Advance and Grand Theft Auto V, and Johnny Hawtorn & Johnny Klebitz from GTA London and The Lost and Damned, respectively.