- ""Fittin' to hit the block, see what's happening."
- ―Carl Johnson
End of the Line is the final storyline mission of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas given to protagonist Carl Johnson by his brother and leader of the Grove Street Families, Sweet Johnson from his home in Grove Street, Ganton, Los Santos.
Carl and Sweet Johnson have managed to find out where former friend, Big Smoke is hiding. They drive over to Smoke's hideout in East Los Santos avoiding rioters. Upon arriving, they see that Smoke's crack palace has heavy security and there's no way to enter the place except for breaking through the wall. Carl finds a SWAT Tank nearby and steals it while being attacked by SWAT officers and Ballas gang members. He successfully smashes the wall and enters the crack palace.
Upon entering, Carl makes his way through three floors while killing Ballas, Vagos, San Fierro Rifa, and Russian Mafia gang members as well as workers, whom all carry M4s, AK-47s, Pump Shotguns and MP5s amongst other strong weapons. Carl manages to find Big Smoke, who claims that he doesn't feel any regrets over betraying the Grove Street Families and takes out a gun ready to battle Carl. During a shoot-out, Carl manages to kill Smoke and after a brief conversation questioning Smoke's decision, he says he had no choice and saw the opportunity for power and money before dying.
Frank Tenpenny, who had been watching the whole thing, arrives and asks Carl to put all of Smoke's money in his bag. Tenpenny threatens Carl with a shotgun, but Carl distracts him by shouting "Sweet!" which makes Tenpenny think that Sweet is hiding somewhere. After he notices that he got fooled, he tries to shoot Carl, but Carl swings. After that, Tenpenny runs to the second floor and sets the whole building on fire by shooting a generator and causing it to explode.. Carl goes the same way out and kills any gang member on his way while avoiding burning himself by the fires around the building.
After successfully escaping, Tenpenny attempts to drive away in his Firetruck, Sweet jumps on his Greenwood and then leaps at the ladder on the back of the truck, and hangs on from the ladder. Carl enters a parked Feltzer and starts to chase Tenpenny. During a long chase throughout Los Santos with rioters on the road throwing molotovs and police chasing the trio, a police officer in the truck gets out and starts stamping on Sweet's fingers. Carl gets the Feltzer under the ladder and Sweet drops onto the hood and then climbs over into the passenger seat.
Sweet then takes control of the car with Carl acting as the shooter with his Micro SMG. The chase continues throughout the city with Carl destroying Police Cars as well as rioters chasing them in cars and bikes. The chase comes to an end on the bridge going above Ganton where Tenpenny crashes his truck through a breakable part of the bridge and after shouting for a while, eventually dies at the heart of Grove Street territory, where all the game begins and ends.
Carl, Sweet, The Truth, Kendl, Cesar together start a conversation as Tenpenny says his last words and they head inside the Johnson House to talk about their future. Suddenly, Ken Rosenberg, Madd Dogg, Kent Paul and Maccer enter the house with everybody inside drawing their guns towards them. Madd Dogg announces his first gold record and they all celebrate their success before Carl heads out of the house "fittin' to hit the block, see what's happening". Following the end, Catalina calls for the last time and is heard having sex with her boyfriend Claude, in a tentative to make Carl jealous.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Drive to Big Smoke's Crack Fortress
- Go get the SWAT Tank
- Use the SWAT Tank to ram right through the entrance of Big Smoke's Crack Fortress
- Smoke is on the Fourth floor in his Penthouse Suite. You will have to work your way through three floors to get there
- Make your way to Floor 3
- Make your way to Floor 4
- Go get Big Smoke
- Smoke has switched the lights off go get the thermal goggles by the lower window
- Use the night vision goggles you have just picked up from Big Smoke to help you see in the dark and escape the building as quick as possible
- The floor is on fire use a fire extinguisher to help you get out
- Follow Tenpenny and make sure Sweet is safe, stay close to the fire truck and do not lose Tenpenny
- The cop is stamping on Sweet's fingers get your car close to him in case he loses his grip
- Protect the car from the police, Vagos and Ballas
After the mission
Although this is the final mission of the game, the game itself does not end upon its conclusion. Following the closing cutscene and closing credits, Carl is back on Grove Street. A last phone call from Catalina is received, after which Carl is free to roam about San Andreas as the game enters pure sandbox mode. Any leftover non-storyline missions such as the Zero and Casino strands can still be played out, as can street races, etc. A final WCTR news report is also triggered, detailing the aftermath of the riots. If 100% Completion has been attained, the various rewards will become available after the closing credits.
In sandbox mode certain aspects of the San Andreas universe continue to play out. Progress with the various girlfriends will still go up and down depending on whether Carl continues to date them or not; Carl's physical condition will still change depending on actions like working out and eating; enemy gang members may still randomly shoot at Carl when he passes.
Also, Gang Warfare conditions still apply, meaning Carl will still need to defend territory in Los Santos should any neighboring enemy gang areas remain.
- Big Smoke - Killed by Carl for betraying the Grove Street Families and to earn some respect to Sweet
- Frank Tenpenny - Dies after crashing his truck during a chase with Carl and Sweet.
- As this is the last mission of the game, all other mandatory submissions, races and odd jobs required for 100% completion must be accomplished before launching this mission (although as noted above, any leftovers can still be played out after the main game ends).
- Sweet's Greenwood is locked once Carl and Sweet arrive at Big Smoke's Crack Palace, and the player cannot enter it again during the mission. Sweet remains inside until he jumps onto the ladder of the firetruck.
- When CJ confronts Big Smoke, Smoke pulls a Combat Shotgun. However, when the gunfight begins, he uses an AK-47. Possibly for balancing reasons.
- Another oddity with Big Smoke is after the cutscene where Tenpenny leaves the drug lab, is that Smoke's head is under the couch, regardless of where the player killed him. He also has an AK-47 which he dropped and body armor, although this is unrealistic as Smoke's body armor is full of bullets in the cutscene where he dies.
- In the cutscene after Big Smoke dies, Tenpenny is armed with a combat shotgun. But in the next cutscene, when he shoots the generator, he is seen with a normal pump shotgun.
- No matter what pistol the player has in their inventory, Carl will always have a Desert Eagle when he confronts Smoke, and after he's killed Smoke. This will also be the default weapon Carl pulls out regardless what weapon the player has selected before the cutscene begins.
- The Feltzer in this mission is bulletproof/fireproof/explosionproof/damageproof, it can be obtained by failing the mission. The license plate reads " I LOVE MY AK".
- On rare occasions CJ will shout 'Hang on Sweet' just as he starts to chase Tenpenny.
- It is possible to get close enough to the firetruck and attempt to hijack it although it is locked.
- It is possible to obtain a one-carriage train (only the engine carriage).
- The Brown Streak locomotive will be solid only when the player drives past it. Other times, other trains just drive straight through it.
- Once the part 2 (The chase of the Firetruck) is failed, and you do the mission again, the first part (the gunfight inside the crack den) is skipped and directly to the part 2 scene, hinting that it automatically "Trip Skips" the scene.
- The two SWAT Tanks seen on this mission are the only two in the entire game. The one used to smash the wall can be stored in a garage, however it will disappear after the mission unless the player fails the mission.
- Ironically, the SWAT members at the police roadblock where the first SWAT Tank is located are seen in a shootout with the Ballas at an opposing roadblock. When the second SWAT Tank crashes through the wall of the crack palace, SWAT members will get out and start to assist the Ballas and Vagos.
- Tenpenny's firetruck has extreme speed, equal to a sports car rather than a firetruck. However, if you fail to catch Sweet and the mission is failed, the firetruck advances slowly and stops near Las Colinas after East Beach. You can follow it in the Feltzer and obtain it, although it goes slowly and has broken tires.
- Since the police are your enemy during the mission, the player is 100% free of police attention.
- The mission is played in three parts: The first ends when CJ kills Smoke and Tenpenny blows up the lab. The second ends when CJ exits the building and Sweet hangs on the firetruck, and the third is the remainder of the mission (chase and ending). If you had completed one or two parts and replay the mission, the first parts will be skipped and you will start from when you have failed the mission.
- The time in this mission is pre-written. Whether or not the player enters the mission at a certain time, the mission will start at 21:30 outside Sweet's house, so the confrontation between him and Smoke is normally early in the morning. Although, after Tenpenny blows up the lab and CJ is alone in Smoke's room, the time is 00:00. Concerning that the player has 7 minutes (7 game hours) to get out of the building, so when he gets out the time is around the first hours of the day. However, when he starts chasing Tenpenny, the time is 17:00, so the death of Tenpenny is around 5PM. The mission is finally passed at 01:15. That makes the mission considerably the longest in the GTA series, starting at 21:30 of the first day, and ending at 01:15 of the third day.
- When the player sees Big Smoke playing a video game, the joystick he's holding has no wire. Both it and the console resemble an original Xbox and controller.
- There are video game machines in Big Smoke's citadel, the player can play them, but you have to make sure that you can get out of the building. The game Big Smoke is playing can also be played, even though there is no TV around.
- It is rather odd that the gangsters in the building will not try to escape the building. This may be due to the lack of NPCs being able to enter/exit buildings.
- The game Red Dead Revolver has a mission with the same name.
- An easier way to kill Big Smoke is to go to Toreno's ranch before you start the mission and grab a minigun or obtain via a pick-up. Fire it at Big Smoke and you can defeat him in a few seconds.
- If you are really good, you can even use a melee weapon like a knife or a katana or even CJ's fists and pin Big Smoke to the ground by doing combo attacks and kill him that way.
- At the start of the mission, Sweet's car is invincible.
- At one point, a SWAT Tank breaks in through the wall from a back alleyway, allowing SWAT to enter the building. However, there is no back alleyway on the building's exterior, and there is no hole anywhere where the Tank could have burst in through. The tank comes from a fake world, as you can tell by re-entering the building after completing the mission, going upstairs to the hole and looking around the exterior.
- The third part of the mission is a reference to a 1997 American action film, Con Air, where Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom (John Malkovich) escapes on a fire truck near the end of the film.
- Carl saying to the dead Tenpenny "See you around...officer!" is a reference to the first mission, in which Tenpenny shoves Carl out of his police car, saying "See you around, Carl!"
- Completing the Firefighter submission prior to going after Smoke makes Carl fireproof, allowing him to walk through the flames without having to deal with the fire extinguisher.
- Laid by the door to Big Smoke's Penthouse you can see a black carpet with white letters that say "NOT WELCOME - ROCKSTAR NORTH", and the Rockstar North logo.
- If the "Super Punch" cheat is activated during the mission, it is possible to kill Big Smoke in one punch. Note that even after that, he will still have bullet holes in his body armor.
- This is one of only two missions where Frank Tenpenny appears without Eddie Pulaski. (the other one being Body Harvest)
- Some pedestrians will sit near the entrance of Big Smoke's crack fortress, they can be killed with a single bullet. They are probably crack addicts as the ones seen in Cleaning The Hood.
- Furthermore, the Ballas members that are encountered when smashing into the crack palace can also be killed with a single bullet if Carl gets out of the SWAT tank. Their low health was probably done so that they can be ran over easily by the SWAT tank.
- The beta version of the Premier based police car appears during the cut scene when Tenpenny's fire truck crashes onto Grove Street before he dies.
- The mission is referenced in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, when the police helicopter pilot says "LCPD! THIS IS THE END OF THE LINE!!!"
- There is an error in the subtitles during the chase scene. Sweet tells CJ to "keep these lunatics off our backs" yet the subtitles read to keep them off their case.
- Smoke is not affected by explosive, therefore try not to use Grenades, Rocket Launcher and other explosive weapons, using it will only waste ammo.
- Carl smashing the SWAT tank into the crack palace is a reference to LAPD Chief Daryl Gates sending armored vehicles called "battering rams" to smash into suspected crack houses in South Central Los Angeles during the 80s crack epidemic.
- The player is able to recruit Grove Street members for the second part of the mission when escaping the crack palace. In order to do that, you have to fail part two which can only happen by dying. Before retrying the mission, you can recruit gang members and they'll be with you inside Smoke's place as you start from that part.
- The drive-by sequence is considered a hybrid of Just Business and Reuniting The Families. The player is riding shotgun in a car (the latter), is given a Micro-SMG to use (the former), and is fending off both cops (who are mission enemies as in Reuniting the Families) and gangsters (in both bikes and cars as in Just Business, though they are Vagos) in pursuit.
- The cops during the drive-by are using Micro-SMGs, which is unusual.