In the beginning of the Grand Theft Auto series, players were given the option in Grand Theft Auto 1 to select one of eight different protagonists to play as (nine in the Game Boy Color version) in the game. Despite the varied selection of characters, they are no different in-game in terms of abilities, the only variance being the color of their clothes, hair and skin. Each character has a default first name which the player may immediately use, but can be renamed according to your wish.
In addition to featuring characters of different appearances and backgrounds, the game is also notable for featuring both male and female protagonists to choose (the female protagonists aren't available in the PlayStation version of the game). The characters are illustrated in the same manner as other characters in the game, with a semi-realistic but somewhat stylized facial design.
List of protagonists
Grand Theft Auto series
|Bubba||Male character. Depicted as obese and tough (with a cigar in his mouth). Suggested to be of Cuban or Hispanic descent.|
|Divine||Female character. Depicted as being of African descent. Her appearance is possibly inspired by blaxploitation heroines such as Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson.|
|Katie||Female character. Depicted to be of Hispanic descent.|
|Kivlov||Male character. Suggested by name to be of Eastern European or Russian descent.|
|Mikki||Female character. Depicted to be of Asian (possibly Japanese) descent.|
|Travis||Male character. He is an homage to Travis Bickle, the main character in the movie Taxi Driver. Suggested to be of white American descent.|
|Troy||Male character. Depicted as being of African descent.|
|Ulrika||Female character. Suggested by name and appearance to be of Scandinavian descent.|
|Kelly||Male character. His descent is unknown. He is only available in the GBC port of the game.|
Here is a video showing off the characters, and how they can even change clothes.
These characters are only available on the Game Boy Color port of the game. They are hidden characters that are not available unless a player inputs the name "SUMNER" on Kelly's profile, who is also exclusive to this platform.