GTA Vice City
Fort Baxter Air Base first appeared in GTA Vice City, located just north of Escobar International Airport.
There are large numbers of troops armed with M4's guarding the area, making it extremely dangerous to try and gain access to the base. The soldiers have a shoot-on-sight policy and will attack Tommy Vercetti when he passes by in the street outside, even though the player is technically not trespassing on the base itself, and regardless of whether or not the player is armed. The troops behave as a hostile gang and attacking one soldier will cause all the soldiers to attack the player. For this reason, extreme caution should be used when in the area. Even if Tommy just walks by and doesn't do anything even unarmed (unless he is in the cop uniform), the soldiers who see him will try killing him. These soldiers are also violent towards other gangs, most notably Patrol Invest Group guards who happen to be within the vicinity of the base. Police officers will also attack soldiers if they see them fire their weapons; however, the soldiers do not retaliate.
It is worth noting that Fort Baxter, like the police station in Washington Beach, can be entered freely if the player is wearing the police uniform or Army fatigues (the latter only in Vice City Stories), giving very easy access to military vehicles located inside. Soldiers patrolling Fort Baxter Air Base never participate in law enforcement activity; if the player is wearing a cop uniform or Army fatigues and enters the base with a wanted level, only the law enforcement officers from outside will try to kill the player.
There are no hidden packages within the base (except for a package behind the sign in GTA VC), but there are accessible military vehicles, including the Rhino, Patriot, Barracks OL and the Hunter. Even so, stealing them with so many soldiers in the vicinity is no easy feat. The Hunter is particularly secure, as it is located at the rear of the base, behind many fences that need to be circumvented. Landing a Maverick next to the Hunter and then quickly jumping on board is one tactic to obtain the coveted attack helicopter.
GTA Vice City Stories
Fort Baxter Air Base is also featured in GTA Vice City Stories. Set in 1984, two years before GTA Vice City, the airbase's internal layout is significantly different. In Vice City, the base is accessible by breaking through the barriers at the main gate or jumping over it, while in Vice City Stories, the gates open automatically, are more substantial and cannot be broken. Corporal Victor Vance was stationed at Fort Baxter until his dishonorable discharge when Sergeant Peppah found marijuana hidden under Victor's bed.
After re-unlocking the Army Fatigues, Victor Vance can enter the base anytime and he gets the same treatment as he did during his time in the Army, including aiming at soldiers and killing them until the limit of 3 is reached, at which point every new set of soldiers spawning will start shooting at him.
Like Vice City, Vice City Stories also has accessible military vehicles, but this time, they're available from the start of the game, except the Rhino, which is only unlocked after the mission Over the Top.
The Ghost Tower can be seen in GTA VCS, too. There are little chances that it was supposed to be introduced in game since it was cut from GTA VC and can be seen only from a far distance.
Ghost TowerThe "Ghost Tower" refers to an air traffic control tower that was originally intended to be located within Fort Baxter in GTA Vice City. In GTA Vice City Stories, however, it is unknown if the tower was cut again or possibly just a leftover from GTA Vice City. It was removed prior to the game's release. The tower was going to serve a runway at the base that was also cut pre-release. The texture can still be viewed before entering the mainland, as when the mainland is entered the map fully loads and the tower can't be viewed up close. However, with the help of an in-game trainer, the tower can be viewed while on the mainland provided the player has a sufficient amount of altitude. It is visible in all releases of both GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories.
|Name||Present Soldier||Former Soldier|
- GTA Vice City
- Barracks OL (2 are available) (Not available in PS2 version)
- Rhino (after having collected 90 Hidden Packages)
- Hunter (when all Hidden Packages are found or after completing the final mission Keep Your Friends Close)
- GTA Vice City Stories
- Barracks OL
- Patriot (2 are available until Conduct Unbecoming, then only 1 will spawn)
- Green Mesa Grande
- Green Streetfighter until after mission Conduct Unbecoming
- Rhino (locked until the Army Fatigues outfit is unlocked again)
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (set in 1984), Fort Baxter is a National Guard or Army Reserve base for the United States Army. However, the sign in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (set in 1986) calls it the Vice City Air Reserve, implying it now belongs to the United States Air Force Reserves and further reads it as Fort Baxter Air Base. The change in a two-year period is unexplained, as it would've taken more than two years to convert from an Army to Air Force base. In addition, the Base in 1986 is too small for a runway despite its hangars. In GTA VCS, there is also no helipad, making the location not ideal for the Hunter helicopter when it was ordered in the mission Over the Top.
- The unit insignia found at the main building has the Rockstar North logo in it.