- For the mission see Mike Toreno (mission)
- "You know, I try to set bad people on other bad people and sometimes I let good guys die."
- ―Mike Toreno.
Michael "Mike" Toreno is a character who appears as a key main character in GTA San Andreas. He is an undercover agent from a "government agency," unknown, but his later dialogue rules out the FBI. Toreno disguises himself as a drug supplier for the Loco Syndicate. He appears as a main character In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and is voiced by James Woods, who bears some physical resemblance to the character and is better known for his role as "Hades" in the Disney movie "Hercules" and as himself as a recurring antagonist in "Family Guy".
Role in GTA San Andreas
Carl Johnson first sees Mike when he and Cesar do some snooping with a Ballas drug van apparently headed for Angel Pine. When Carl and Cesar arrive at the rendezvous, they witness a meeting between CJ's former friend Ryder and the leading members of a drug cartel known as the Loco Syndicate, Jizzy B., T-Bone Mendez and Toreno himself.
The first time Carl personally meets Toreno is during Carl's brief tenure as Jizzy's hitman, after Toreno is mistakenly abducted by a gang of Da Nang Boys who are stealing one of the syndicate's drug vans with the agent inside. CJ and T-Bone locate the vehicle at the Easter Bay International Airport, and free Toreno. The agent is immediately suspicious of CJ, but T-Bone Mendez convinces Toreno not to shoot him. All three then destroy the van, with the cocaine still inside in order to eliminate any evidence.
Following the death of Jizzy B., the Triads plan to ambush the Syndicate's drug purchase at Pier 69. CJ assists them with a sniper rifle, but Toreno, who arrived by helicopter, notices CJ's victims on top of the pier buildings and aborts his landing. CJ later tracks the chopper to another location and shoots it out of the sky; pressuming that Toreno is dead.
Toreno, however, was never on the helicopter. After the Loco Syndicate plant is destroyed in San Fierro, Toreno goes incognito and, using a digitally-distorted voice, calls CJ to invite him to a secluded ranch in Tierra Robada. Carl is shocked by Toreno's survival, and curses him as a mere drug dealer but Toreno reveals that he is in fact a government agent, and explains that he was distributing the cocaine to raise funds for overseas dictators and "useful" drug suppliers.
Toreno makes Carl an offer: if Carl works for him, taking down enemy agents and sabotaging rival agencies, no harm will come to Carl's brother, Sweet, who is now in prison; Toreno promises that, if CJ does enough work, Sweet will be released early.
Later, Toreno sends Carl to purchase the Verdant Meadows Aircraft Graveyard, a defunct landing strip in Bone County, and use the facility to have CJ trained as a pilot. After, he immediately assigns Carl with jobs involving what he had learned from training. One time, he tasks CJ to drop off a package halfway across the state using a plane. At one point, a container jet lands without warning at the airstrip, and men in black suits and sunglasses empty out of it. Toreno instructs CJ to sneak onboard, bomb the plane and parachute back onto land safely.
While Toreno initially dismisses CJ as street trash, and uses Sweet as a bargaining chip to ensure CJ's obedience, his attitude changes as CJ proves his ability to get seemingly impossible jobs done, and he begins to display a sense of camaraderie with CJ, despite still thinking nothing of sending him on dangerous errands. After a lengthy hiatus, Toreno eventually returns and gives CJ one last job; he personally drives CJ to Easter Basin, and sends him to infiltrate an aircraft carrier and steal a V/STOL fighter jet. CJ successfully takes the jet, shoots down enemy planes and takes out several boats at the Sherman Reservoir; Carl is then exasperated with the danger he has been exposed to, and his rage only increases when Toreno leaves him to deal with the burden of the stolen jet.
Toreno shows up unannounced yet again in the mission Home Coming, and tells Carl that he has one more mission. CJ snaps and holds a gun to Toreno's face, but Toreno is unperturbed; he tells CJ that the "mission" is simply to pick up Sweet — Toreno has seen to his early release from prison. CJ goes to pick up his brother and Toreno makes no further appearances in the game.
Philosophically, Toreno is a highly cynical American imperialist. He primarily uses CJ as a courier, saboteur, and assassin. Though he knows of Tenpenny and Pulaski's dirty dealings, Toreno does not use his power to stop them. He tells CJ in one mission, "we have to make decisions, kid. You know, I try to set bad people on other bad people. And sometimes, I let good guys die." Toreno, like Tenpenny, seems to have gravitated toward committing heinous acts in the name of a greater good, but unlike Tenpenny, Toreno is not corrupted by his power. He equates maintenance of the American socioeconomic system with the continued survival of the free world. Toreno, like many major characters of San Andreas, appears in The Introduction.
- GTA San Andreas
- The Introduction
- Photo Opportunity
- Mike Toreno
- Pier 69
- Toreno's Last Flight (Thought to be killed)
- Yay Ka-Boom-Boom (Post-mission phone call)
- Monster (Voice/Boss)
- Highjack (Boss)
- Interdiction (Boss)
- Verdant Meadows (Boss)
- Learning to Fly (Voice/Boss)
- N.O.E. (Boss)
- Stowaway (Boss)
- Vertical Bird (Boss)
- Home Coming (Boss)
- In missions, the number plate on Toreno's Washington says "OMEGA". The Washington parked at his ranch always has a random plate number.
- The U.L. Paper Contact in Grand Theft Auto IV could be consider a counter part to Toreno as both have the same personality, both force the main characters of their stories to do dirty and dangerous jobs for them (Carl Johnson forced by Toreno, while Niko was forced by the U.L. Paper Contact).
- Due to his involvement in Latin American politics and cocaine trafficking, it is likely that the agency he's representing is based on the CIA set during the Contra war in Nicaragua.
- His texture names are torino.txd and torino.dff, hinting that his beta name could be Mike Torino or it's just a misspeling.
- In the mission Wear Flowers In Your Hair the suspicious van encountered is most likely Toreno's men, because in the mission Toreno's Last Flight , Woozie tells Carl: My men found that VAN you were looking for, and indeed a van is parked next to the helipad.