In Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City, there are cheats that allow the player to play as NPCs since those games have single outfits mechanic; this was scrapped in San Andreas & IV since these games contain buyable clothes, models, and perfect lip syncing. It is very common for the game to crash on cutscenes with these mechanics. There are mods that will let you play as NPCs though.
The pedestrians in the GTA III era suffered from "clumping" in which the same models of pedestrian appear very often, sometimes even two pedestrians of the same model can be seen speaking to each other. This glitch was fixed in GTA IV, though another glitch; "car clumping" which causes many of the same car model to spawn together, remains. Pedestrians throughout the GTA III era are identifiable due to the repeated clothing and models.
However in GTA IV, pedestrian models are varied and there are much more of them. Two pedestrians of the same model usually never or rarely appear together on the screen at one time. This is due to a implemented mechanic of "clothing" and "age" for pedestrians. Example: The businessman model has 2 variants: young and old, and both those variants have different suit colours and hairstyles. In addition, certain pedestrians are only found in appropriate places, and their behavior is much more realistic and distinguishable to that particular pedestrian. For example, homeless people will hang around in back alleys, lie around on the streets and ask other people, including the protagonist, for spare change. Russian immigrants will hang around Hove Beach in Broker close to where the ships dock, rich suited businessmen can be found in Downtown Algonquin and criminals such as muggers and carjackers will hang around Bohan. Also, prostitutes only appear at night around the gritty areas of the city.
Behavior includes smoking, talking on the phone, sitting on park benches and reading newspapers, conversing with others, carrying home shopping and generally doing things one should expect a random person on the streets to do. Also in GTA IV, pedestrians can be seen putting something in a car's trunk or fixing a broken down engine on the side of the road. At the East Borough Bridge, sometimes there will be a pulled over car with a police patrol behind.
General appearancePedestrians come in all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnic groups. Each have their own dialogue, and interact with each other as well as with the player. There are no children in any GTA games, however, which is likely due to the controversies that might arise from including them in the game, considering that the player can kill any NPC in the game; the beta version of Grand Theft Auto III had schoolchildren as well as drivable school buses, but were scrapped in the final version. Gang members may also qualify as pedestrians, but feature different behavior by often appearing in groups or in a specific area of the city since their first appearance in Grand Theft Auto 2.
Until GTA III, standard pedestrians were often deprived of details, and as such, few distinctions were made in where certain pedestrians appear and their appearances. From GTA 2 onwards, attempts were made to program gang members to appear in respective gang turf, and from GTA III onwards, civilians reflect to what city, district, time, and setting the game is in. For example, in a college area, college students are spawned, while a Chinatown may feature people of Chinese ethnicity. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many civilians are dressed in 80s apparel due to its time period, while the game additionally switches between pedestrians donning swimsuits and those dressed in party attires for day and night in Vice Beach. The player will also never see a homeless person in an affluent area of town, nor would they see a businessman in the country. Also, certain pedestrians, generally, drive certain vehicles. Wealthier civilians typically drive more luxurious cars, and poorer pedestrians typically drive less-appealing vehicles.
Pedestrians can be run over by cars, shot, and beaten up. Many leave money when they die, which can be obtained by the player. Most of the time, if a pedestrian is killed, an ambulance will show up to heal the pedestrian, at which point the pedestrian will simply get up and continue with his/her business or enter the ambulance to be taken to a hospital. However, it is probably not in the protagonist's best interests to kill a pedestrian unprovoked, and most likely contradicts their moral values. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV, pedestrians and cops can also swim, but only in for a limited time before drowning.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl can have limited conversations with pedestrians. Occasionally he may hear a pedestrian make a comment about how he smells, his looks or mode of dress; he can choose to respond negatively or positively (a negative response may provoke the pedestrian and using the same control scheme used for interacting with hookers), or he can choose to ignore the comment which may result in the pedestrian criticizing Carl for ignoring him/her. Similarly, Carl may encounter drug dealers who likewise can be conversed with in this manner. Rival gang members will walk up to Carl and ask if he himself is a gang member. No matter which Carl chooses, the gang members will still chase/attack him.
Rockstar Games have said that pedestrians will be much more interactive in GTA 5. Full conversations with any pedestrian, and the player will be able to make friends with pedestrians as well. The rest of the information is left undisclosed to the public for the time being.
Aside from the civilians who accidentally hit you with cars, there are even much more dangerous pedestrians. Some examples include gang members, that are particularly dangerous as they are always armed and will almost always fight back. Up until GTA IV, they would attack you on sight if you strolled into their turf and you had bad relations with their gang, but in GTA IV they usually leave the player alone outside of missions, unless tempted to attack you. This can happen with the Russian Mafia if you open fire against everyone in their territory or with any gang if you attack or provoke a gang member. In GTA SA, if the player replies negative to wearing Grove Street colors, the gang might leave the player alone. Taxi drivers and other pedestrians will often respond to carjackings by trying to pull you out and beat you, or they might simply attempt to run over the player or repeatedly ram their car. Some pedestrians will fight back when provoked or call the police. Between the missions Riot and End of the Line in GTA San Andreas, pedestrians become hostile, carry weapons and attack the player or steal his car. Also to look out for are street criminals that have been reported to carjack players, pedestrians, and even police. In GTA IV, sometimes, pedestrians will come to the aid of other pedestrians if the player attacks them, or if the player attacks a female pedestrian, men may come to her aid. Also, pedestrians will sometimes come to the aid of the player if he is being attacked. In certain areas, if the player fires a weapon, a pedestrian may pull a gun (usually a pistol or a micro SMG) and fire at the player in an act of defense. Sometimes in GTA III, when a player is committing a crime involving explosives, a pedestrian will act as a "good samaritan" and try to attack and stop the player. Pedestrians armed with weapons due to cheats if startled, will attack each other or the player.
The player can communicate more extensively with noteworthy pedestrians. Some noteworthy pedestrians will come to the player's aid when he is hurt, or if the player harms another pedestrian, some bystanders will try to defend the victimized pedestrian that the player attacked.
In games such as GTA IV or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if the player is in a particularly crime-riddled neighborhood, the player may be attacked or car-jacked by a random Street Criminal, particularly at night when less police are patrolling the streets. In bad areas such as Bohan (GTA IV), the player will occasionally be held at gunpoint by a gang member or street criminal.
List of Noteworthy Pedestrians
- Security Guard
- Taxi Drivers
- Crack Dealers
- Street Criminals
- Elvis Impostors
- In Grand Theft Auto III, there are "boss" pedestrians across Liberty City. The pedestrian wears green clothing, and if he attacks another pedestrian, they will flee. A "weak" pedestrian is also seen everywhere in Liberty City. He wears a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and will flee whenever anyone attacks him.
- In GTA III, if the player runs against elders pedestrians, they will fall down.
- In all the 3D Universe citizens have a chance of dropping large sums of cash. This is sometimes referred to as a "jackpot" by some players. It is possibly just a glitch in programming from the money drop rate. Some players have obtained over 3 thousand dollars before in one kill. Sometimes, even a bum they may leave a few thousand dollars when killed. It is unknown if this is a glitch or a reference to people who act like homeless people just to get money even though they are not homeless (some are actually rich). This feature is more notable in GTA III though for some reason.
- Sometimes, when carjacking somebody in Grand Theft Auto IV, he will say "What? I can't afford a Renault!" This might be a joke on the pricing of certain Renault cars that were quite expensive.
- Sometimes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a glitch occurs where a pedestrian will not get killed no matter how much punishment is dealt to them, they simply become invulnerable.
- In GTA San Andreas, there is a certain pedestrian that resembles Denise Robinson, while another - a blonde in a tight white dress - appears to resemble Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct and possibly referencing Paris Hilton from her dialogue to the player and other pedestrians. Still another pedestrian, a white male with long blond hair and a green jacket with ivory pants, resembles Kurt Cobain. Many fans of the game also suggest that the pedestrian that wears orange track pants, orange bucket hat and no shirt is Dr. Dre.
- In GTA San Andreas on PlayStation 2, the pedestrians will try to attack each other during a cut scene, which can cause the game to freeze. This is more than likely due to the player using cheat codes throughout the game.
- In GTA San Andreas, pedestrians will sometimes jump toward your car, including cops. It is scripted for them to jump away from you, but if you drive towards them (not head on), they usually "commit suicide".
- In GTA San Andreas, pedestrians are likely to commit suicide on bridges without railings with vehicles blocking their path. See Video
- Sometimes, specifically in GTA San Andreas and GTA IV , the dialogue is completely off-key. For example pedestrian 1 may ask pedestrian 2, "Has your family ever let you down?" and pedestrian 2 would reply "Yeah, I agree!". These nonsensical discussions are reminiscent of that heard between NPCs in the game Postal 2.
- Before the GTA IV era, pedestrians, once killed, their bodies would disappear after 2-3 minutes if not revived. In GTA IV, their bodies do not disappear until the player leaves the body. If the player keeps killing a lot of pedestrians and/or officers in the same directions, bodies will start to disappear. This is to prevent the system from overloading.
- In GTA IV, certain emergency workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, and firefighters, will attack the player if provoked. Yet unlike any other pedestrian, the LCPD will simply ignore the assault, and fighting back results in a one-star wanted level. This is unusual as LCPD officers normally arrest pedestrians for fighting, however their status as honest emergency personnel may make them exempt from arrest.
- In GTA IV, some male pedestrians have female voices they use for screaming and when in pain, this is somewhat unusual, but most of them won't fight back if attacked. These pedestrian models usually have effeminate mannerisms and styles usually associated with stereotypical homosexuality, so it may be a joke on the part of the developers.
- There have been instances in GTA IV where if there is an injured pedestrian laying on the ground and has been hurt to the point that they can't get up, another pedestrian may shoot them to death. This occurs when having a shootout between the protagonist and gang members outside of missions.
- In GTA IV, the pedestrians will drop the objects which they are holding including umbrella, cellphone, broom (for cleaners), clip board, drinking cup, shopping groceries, cigarette, and etc whenever they are bumped into and/or shocked/surprised.
- In GTA IV, pedestrians no longer produce the sound effects of bodies being crushed while getting run over by vehicles and landing on the ground after falling from heights.
- In GTA IV, if the protagonist attacks a female pedestrian, a male pedestrian will intervene and attack the player. The player will get the same result even if they attack a prostitute.
- In GTA IV, if an attacking pedestrian misses the protagonist and strikes another pedestrian, the attacker will then ignore the protagonist and the two pedestrians will usually begin to fight each other until one of them is injured or arrested.
- In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Vice City Stories and GTA Liberty City Stories, bodies from dead pedestrians that disappear will be replaced with the white chalk outline of their body.
- When using auto aim the weapon may lock on to thin air, but there is a invisible pedestrian also refered to as a ghost. Shooting that pedestrian will cause blood splatter on the floor and money to appear. This glitch only occurs in the PS2 version of GTA SA, although it has been reported in certain places in the Xbox version, as well as the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV. It may also happen on the PS3.
- In GTA San Andreas, when a woman in a swimsuit is driving, sometimes their breasts raises up to their chin or disappears. But when you remove (carjack) them out of the car, their body will go back to normal. Tested on PC version.
- In all GTA games, despite the fact that each pedestrian has their own unique voice and dialogue, their voices all sound similar when they scream, get injured, or die.
- In Vice City, the player can assist police officers that are chasing pedestrians through the street by killing the pedestrian without gaining a wanted level.
- In San Andreas, sometimes pedestrians pull out guns and start shooting the cops.
- In GTA IV, if the player wounds or kills a street criminal, then the police will ignore the criminal, and start chasing the player.
- In GTA V, pedestrians will react to what you do, so if you rob someone. they might call the cops, film it or try to take you down themselves.
- Sometimes in GTA V, when a pedestrian sees the protagonist or another pedestrian in an expensive looking vehicle, they will say positive responses like "Nice ride dude" or if they see an expensive looking vehicle parked, a pedestrian may pull out their phone and take a picture of it.
- In GTA V, if any Pedestrians are in this miss of a gunfight (i.e. when Street Criminals get out of their car and shoot at the cops), they will drive recklessly trying to evade the situation. However, even after they have evaded the situation, the frightened pedestrians will continue to drive reckless. This also can be experienced if the player shoots at a pedestrian's car near other pedestrians.
- Frightened Pedestrians on land also behave similarly to the ones in cars, for they also will not stop running and screaming even after they have gone far away from the gunfight.