- For plot details before what's shown below, see here.
- "So... this is what the dream feels like. This is the victory we longed for."
- ―Niko Bellic.
Grand Theft Auto IV has two dramatically different endings, Deal and Revenge. Because of this, it is recommended to save on a different file after the mission That Special Someone (or not save playing one ending and restart and play the other) so that you can easily play the other ending without having to replay the whole game. This page lists the events of both endings.
In the mission One Last Thing, Jimmy Pegorino will request Niko Bellic to do a Heroin deal worth millions that will give Niko $250,000; but the problem is Dimitri Rascalov is a key player in this deal and Niko fears he will make things sour. Roman Bellic suggests Niko does this deal to make money and claims Rascalov has reformed; Kate McReary demands Niko not do this deal as she fears Rascalov will double-cross him.
Dimitri Rascalov & Jimmy Pegorino are both murdered in these two endings; though depending on the ending, Roman Bellic or Kate McReary -- the two people Niko presumably trusts more than any others -- will die.
The Lead Up
After Niko deals with Darko in the previous mission, he gets a call from Pegorino. Niko meets him at Honkers. Pegorino has a deal with Dimitri, (he will deliver the Heroin to a third-party and someone needs to pick up the money) and needs Niko to make the deal. But Dimitri betrayed Niko in the past and even nearly murdered him which makes Niko reluctant to do the deal.
When Niko leaves Pegorino, Niko calls Roman and tells him about the situation. Roman already knows about the deal, he also knows where Dimitri is hiding out. Niko now decides that he could just kill Dimitri instead since he knows Dimitri's hideout. But Roman begs Niko to take the deal and not to kill him, because he wants the money to take himself and Niko to a vacation in Vice City.
Niko then calls Kate and tells her about the deal. He explains that taking the deal would be going back on an oath he swore to himself, but that the money could make things easier for himself, and for Roman. Kate pleads with him to not take the deal, and to stick with what he believes in (not knowing that the alternative is Revenge).
The game prompts the player to "Make Your Decision". Two icons appear on the map. A Deal (shown in green dollar icon) and a Revenge (shown in a red dagger icon). The player must decide to either drive to the dollar icon to take the Deal or drive to the red dagger icon to take Revenge.
If the Price is Right ($250,000)
If the player chooses Deal, Niko meets Phil Bell in a townhouse in Tudor. They drive to Port Tudor where the deal is to take place. It turns out however that Dimitri is after his revenge. He killed the people who Niko was supposed to make the deal with. Niko and Phil, in the third-parties compound, decide to steal the money (and Niko plans to kill Dimitri later).
They enter the warehouse from the roof, and find themselves in a gunfight. After killing most of the men, they make their way to the room with the money, only to see someone else escaping with it. They chase the thief down, killing him and collect their money. Niko takes Phil back to Tudor and both of them decide that they're out of the crime business.
Mr and Mrs Bellic (No Reward)
Niko calls Kate, she refuses to come to the wedding after Niko didn't take her advice. Roman then calls and tells Niko to get to the Church for his wedding with Mallorie.
The wedding goes perfectly to plan. However, after the wedding, an assassin sent by Dimitri, comes up behind Niko and tries to kill him. After firing an accidental shot to the side, Niko manages to turn the gun around and shoot the assassin in the head. The one shot, however, killed Roman. Niko is so angry that he fires several bullets in the assassin's stomach, and begins kicking the assassins body in rage. Little Jacob warns him to go home and he promises to find Dimitri for him.
A Revenger's Tragedy (No Reward)
Niko goes home and sleeps (when you save the game, the mission is named "In Mourning"). After he awakes, Little Jacob calls. He has a car, and he's following Pegorino's men back to Dimitri. Niko finds Jacob and takes control of the car. He chases them to an Alderney Casino. After a shootout in and out of the casino, he sees Dimitri killing Pegorino. He kills him in selfishness because he wants the reward for himself.
Dimitri finds a helicopter, which Niko grabs hold of, but is shaken off, quickly taking a boat. After a chase, Jacob picks up Niko in an Annihilator. Both Dimitri and Niko crash on Happiness Island where Niko finally kills Dimitri. Credits roll. After the credits many phone calls take place. In one, Brucie voices his sadness that Roman was killed, while Kate tells Niko that she will be there for Niko, and in a last one, Mallorie reveals that she is pregnant with Roman's child, who Niko promises "will never have to worry about anything."
A Dish Served Cold (No Reward)
If the player chooses Revenge, Niko, betraying Pegorino, engages a heavy gunfight on Platypus (the boat that brought Niko to America), killing all the Russian Mafia aboard the ship. Niko gains access to the cargo hold where he finishes off Dimitri's goons then gets up close and personal to Dimitri.
Niko executes Dimitri in cold blood and leaves his body at the floor of the hold. He leaves the boat, then Niko calls Roman to tell him this, and Roman was upset to hear this, but appreciates how Dimitri will not bother the two anymore.
Mr and Mrs Bellic (No Reward)
After the mission, Niko calls Kate. She is ecstatic that he cut his ties with Dimitri. She's coming to the wedding. Niko picks her up. On the way, he talks about his criminal life as if it was a thing of the past.
The wedding goes as planned. However, following the ceremony, a raging Jimmy Pegorino performs a drive-by, shouting "You fucking double crossing immigrant shit!", killing Kate. Roman and Jacob then tell Niko to leave, and they assure him that they will find Pegorino soon.
Out of Commission ($250,000)
Niko goes home and sleeps, and when he awakes he gets a call from Jacob. Jacob has a car and is following Pegorino's men back to Jimmy himself. Niko meets Jacob and Roman. Niko takes control of the car.
When Pegorino's men arrive, Niko engages in a heavy gunfight before chasing Pegorino out of the building. Pegorino grabs a speedboat and escapes at sea. Niko grabs a bike and he chases Pegorino on the shoreside. Later in the chase, Jacob and Roman pick up Niko in an Annihilator.
Both Pegorino and Niko crash on Happiness Island, where Niko finds and kills Pegorino in a shootout. After the mission, the credits roll. After the credits, many phone calls take place. In the first phone call, Packie says sadly that Kate did not deserve to die, and that the men in the McReary family were the sinners. In the last phone call, Roman reveals that Mallorie is pregnant, and if it's a girl, they will name her Kate, in honor of Kate McReary.
Which ending is canon?
Since neither The Ballad of Gay Tony or The Lost and Damned confirms one ending over the other, it is ultimately left unknown which ending proves itself to be canon. It is possible that references to which ending is correct may appear in Grand Theft Auto V, but since they are set in different cities, this is highly unlikely. A vast majority of players prefer the Revenge ending because the $250K reward is still the same, and instead of your cousin being killed, your small-time girlfriend is killed instead. Also, the Revenge ending seems to fit into Niko's moral code better than the Deal ending.
Another interesting fact that implicates that the Revenge ending is canon is how Roman's taxi business is still fully functional in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, which takes place in 2009 (compared to GTA IV which is in 2008). It is possible that the business was inherited, which would make the Deal ending possible.