- This article is about the aircraft appearing in GTA III and San Andreas. For the character in Grand Theft Auto 2, see Dodo (GTA 2).
In general, the GTA III rendition has short, stubby wings that appear to have been sawed off at the midpoint (it is explained in the story that the Dodo was the plane that dropped packages in A Drop in the Ocean, but had since been seized by federal agents, and was being stripped as part of a warrant to search the plane) in order to make it virtually impossible to fly (hence the name, Dodo), while the GTA San Andreas rendition features a complete wing span. It strongly resembles an older Cessna 152 or Cessna 150, and is always painted red and white. The Dodo, with or without wings, behaves the same on ground - the faster its propeller spins, the more unstable it is.
In the GTA III rendition, the Dodo was programmed to become unflyable; the Rockstar devs elaborated more on a recent QA session: "Because we were making a driving and shooting game - even that, as a combination of core gameplay elements, was very, very radical at the time. The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11 – it was just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!"
However, the player can still fly the Dodo although it is incredibly difficult. Full-winged Dodos are seen flying around in both Liberty City and Vice City, often towing fliers in the latter case. They can be shot down with rockets (either with a weapon or the Hunter), earning the player an instant 3-star wanted level. This kind of Dodo is called a DeadDodo in the games' vehicle files.
GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories
As the GTA III rendition of the controllable Dodo evidently features shorter wings, the plane is considerably difficult to control; often, a normal pitch or roll may send the plane plummeting out of control, and the thrust of the engine alone cannot be relied on to aid in lift. GTA III's Dodo is thus intended to only remain in the air for short periods of time, but it is possible for the plane to continuously stay airborne.
Takeoff alone requires an unorthodox method of "sling shooting" the aircraft upwards using the suspension of the plane's front landing gear by performing the following:
- While accelerating down a long, flat surfacing, gradually increase the downward pitch of the plane (usually by holding up on the left analog stick in PS2 version and the "Dodo down" button that is set in the PC version).
- When the pitch of the plane is low enough that sparks from the propeller scraping the ground are visible and can be heard, release the left analog stick in PS2 version or Dodo down button in PC version. The plane should shoot upward, and the player must quickly stabilize the plane by keeping it level.
- The player is required to continuously hold on to the plane's acceleration and pressing down on the D-pad or Dodo down button (in PC) to keep the plane level to the horizon and also to ensure smooth flying.
The Dodo will continuously be in phugoid when in flight. After flying a certain distance and time (170 seconds to be exact) the Dodo is expected to pitch downwards, but will soon pitch upwards again after gaining momentum and lift from the fall, repeating the same drop-rise sequence over again. Because of this, the Dodo can be considered to be closely related to a glider. From takeoff onwards, the player must be wary of the pitch of the plane, doing their best to level the Dodo to ensure the plane does not ascend or descend too quickly, as it will result in more violent fluctuations in flight and increases the risk of crashing. Rolling (steering) of the Dodo must also be done with care by softly tapping the directional controls of the plane instead of holding them, which results in violent rolling and leading to the plane dropping from the sky.
If controlled properly, the Dodo can reach great heights, even flying over skyscrapers (see this video). The Dodo may also be used to reach inaccessible parts of the city, such as the Ghost Town, or the easter egg text on the edge of the radar's map.
Once the player has mastered flying the Dodo, which takes time and practice, he/she can fly anywhere on the map. However, a precaution must be taken into consideration to prevent a ruined flight. The player must avoid flying over unique stunt jumps, as flying over them will trigger a cinematic view (a normality when driving off a particular ramp in a car) and the slow-motion camera will not subside until the player crashes into the ground or ocean, almost certainly resulting in death. Because of the scattered jumps in GTA III, it is imperative for the player to know of all locations to avoid flying over them. This glitch makes flying the Dodo much more of a challenge.
In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the GTA III Dodo is obtainable through third party mods. However, it has no acceleration and therefore is useless, as it never moves, unless if the player uses a cheat device.
GTA San Andreas
The Dodo in GTA San Andreas, is the smallest plane in the game. The Dodo has a complete wing span and full functionality, greater stability and control, and has an engine far more reliable in keeping the plane airborne (using Flying School methods, rather than the GTA III method). However, with a range of superior aircraft available in the game, the Dodo remains an undesirable option, being one of the slowest and most underpowered planes in game, although it is still considerably maneuverable. The Dodo is not seen flown by NPCs in the skies in GTA San Andreas.
Prominent appearances in missions
In GTA III, two of Donald Love's missions involve the Dodo: A Drop In The Ocean requires you to follow a Dodo in a boat and pick up the package it drops in the bay; the other, Grand Theft Aero, requires you to enter the same Dodo (parked in a hangar) to retrieve another package. Another mission, S.A.M. (for Asuka Kasen), requires you to shoot one down with a rocket and collect the cargo it was carrying from the wreckage.
- The Dodo in GTA III and GTA Vice City (as the banner-pulling plane), bears the letters "Y", "M" and "E" at the beginning of the plane's registration number on the tail end of the fuselage, which reads similar to "Why me?".
- Dodo is a play on words, as a Dodo was a flightless, now extinct bird of Mauritius.
- The Dodo in GTA 3 has abnormal crash mechanics. For example, hitting a sign or light post with one of its wings will cause the Dodo to spin around, often even bouncing it into the air a few feet.
- According to programming, the Dodo in GTA III is actually a "car" that has been modified to fly (in default.ide, the Dodo's type is set to car, not plane). This is why it has many car-like properties, such as its resilience to high-speed crashes and car-like behavior on the ground.
- The Dodo in GTA III is the only plane in the entire Grand Theft Auto series to feature brakes; these can be applied by using the handbrake key.
- In GTA III, the Dodo's wheels will still be spinning when it is airborne. In GTA San Andreas, the wheels do not rotate even if the plane is moving on the ground.
- The GTA III Dodo can be exported, although it is extremely hard to put the Dodo in any export garage. However, the Dodo can be driven as a car to Portland, providing the player keeps it undamaged. Even if the player manages to do this, it is extremely hard to even get into the Dodo. If the player manages to do that, the player must back it up, and turn it around, another extreme method.
- The propeller always spins on the GTA 3 version even if the plane is destroyed.
- According to Rockstar, the Dodo was never meant to be flown much. Nor was it ever grounded as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Rockstar meant for it to be "just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!"
- In GTA III, if the player pitches the Dodo upward, and then presses on the brake so the engine decelerates, the Dodo may swing back and start gliding backwards for a short distance.
- In GTA Advance, during the final mission Freedom Flies, a few unusable red Cessna-like airplanes can be seen parked around Francis International Airport, probably referencing the Dodo.
- In the green hangar north of Francis International Airport (only after Grand Theft Aero).
- In the southwest hangar in Francis International Airport.
- In the east end of the runway in Francis International Airport.
- In Portland Import/Export Garage (once it is completed).
GTA San Andreas
- In the east side of Los Santos International Airport, near the entrance.
- Southeast of the main circle with grass in Easter Bay International Airport in San Fierro.
- All around the west side of Las Venturas Airport.
- Skimmer, a Dodo-based seaplane.
- DeadDodo, an unobtainable, full-winged variant flying around in GTA III and GTA Vice City.
- Mammatus, a possible successor in Grand Theft Auto V, inspired on the Cessna 172 Skyhawk (Which is an improved version of the Cessna 152, the aircraft that inspired the Dodo).