|This article is about the fictional State of San Andreas in the HD Universe. For the game, see Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. For the city in Grand Theft Auto 1, see San Andreas (2D Universe). For the state as it appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, see State of San Andreas (3D Universe).|
The State of San Andreas, also known as the San Andreas Republic is a fictional state located in the southwestern United States of America, featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. Also nicknamed "The Golden State", San Andreas is closely based on real-life Southern California. When compared to its predecessor, San Andreas is much more accurate in terms of geography and size.
San Andreas is a large, populous state. Its diverse climate makes it unique, ranging from grassy plains to arid deserts to forests and mountain ranges. The forests of San Andreas are dominated by the mighty Redwood trees, standing tall over the ground. San Andreas is located on the West Coast of the United States, and is the birthplace of several new pop culture trends, including celebrity fallouts. The state sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. San Andreas is nicknamed "The Golden State", identical to California's nickname. The explorable area of San Andreas consists of two counties: Los Santos County and Blaine County. It can be assumed, however, that Red County also exists in the state, since it is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV. San Fierro is also mentioned numerous times. Hypothetically, San Andreas is almost identical to the state of California. This is based on the U.S maps found in Fort Zancudo.
San Andreas is unique in that it is the first setting in the Grand Theft Auto series not to have any part of the map restricted at the start of the game, with the exception of certain specific locations such as the city airport, the Humane Labs and Research chemical laboratories, the military base and the state prison. This means that even at the very beginning of the story, players can explore and discover the world to their hearts' content. However, some locations such as Sandy Shores do not play a role in the storyline until a certain point in the game.
San Andreas' motto is, "We won't be broken hypocrites forever," as stated in a San Andreas Tourism Board commercial; according to the same advertisement, San Andreas has the most polluted air in the world.
Not much is known about the history of San Andreas, but it can be assumed that it mirrors the history of real-life California. Throughout the story, bits of dialogue reveal that San Andreas used to be a territory of Mexico in the 1800s, which explains the large Mexican population and some Spanish geographic names. The city of Los Santos, however, was founded in 1781, which was when the Spanish Empire was still in control. Old Mexican bloodlines like Manuel's resided there for over 200 years, and consider themselves more American than Americans themselves. Blaine County was established in 1823, only two years after Mexico gained independence.
Judging from the state flag, it is possible that the American settlers came to San Andreas and defeated Mexico, thus establishing the San Andreas Republic. Los Santos County was established in 1889, several years after the founding of Blaine County. In the 20th century, San Andreas became the center of culture in America and gave birth to the famous Vinewood film culture, resulting in classics like Vinewood Zombie. In Grand Theft Auto IV, it is stated that Los Santos experienced riots in the 1990s, just like the Los Angeles Riots.
The entire state, like its real-life counterpart, is geographically diverse, with nearly every biome except for snow. The metropolis of Los Santos is located at the very south of the state, separated from the Grand Senora Desert by the Vinewood Hills, where the famous Vinewood Sign is located. The Alamo Sea, a salty lake based on real-life Salton Sea, along with the aforementioned desert and the towns of Sandy Shores and Grapeseed is in a wide basin surrounded by the massive Mount Chiliad, the highest point of the state, in the north, Mount Josiah to the west, the San Chianski Mountain Range and Mount Gordo to the east, and the Vinewood Hills to the south. Across Mount Chiliad, the town of Paleto Bay and its surrounding forest is connected to the rest of the state by the Great Ocean Highway, Mount Chiliad Tunnel and Braddock Pass between Mount Chiliad and Mount Gordo. The Fort Zancudo U.S. Army Base is located at the foot of Mount Josiah, beside the Zancudo River, one of two natural outlets of the Alamo Sea, the other being Cassidy Creek, which cuts through Raton Canyon. Natural beaches border the west of the island, stretching from the Los Santos district of Vespucci to Paleto Bay, while the east coast has high cliffs and mountains.
The state's flying industry is served by the Los Santos International Airport or LSIA, Fort Zancudo for military use, the Sandy Shores Airfield, owned by one of the protagonists Trevor Philips and McKenzie Field in Grapeseed, used for air trafficking operations. The Port of Los Santos is a major port where cargo ships can be found.
The city of Los Santos is very diverse in population, from the large African-American community in South Los Santos, the Hispanics in East Los Santos and the celebrity millionaires in Rockford Hills and Richman. Rednecks inhabit Sandy Shores, while Grapeseed is the state's center of agriculture. It is also said that hipsters can be found in Chumash and the LS district of Mirror Park. The Mount Chiliad State Wilderness is a common hunting ground and the home of the Altruist Camp.
Los Santos County
Los Santos County is the southernmost county in the state, and is also the most developed. It consists of the cities of Los Santos and Davis, along with a large variety of highlands, beaches, and interconnected highways. The town of Chumash is located in the western side of the county along with a large beach. It is bordered by Blaine County to the north by Route 68. Los Santos County is the urban area of San Andreas.
Blaine County is the the second-southernmost county of the state and the northernmost featured. Blaine County is mostly known for its wildlife, including a large desert, highlands, a sea, and forests. There are three towns in the county: Sandy Shores, Grapeseed, and Paleto Bay. One of the most visited landmarks in the county is Mount Chiliad. Blaine County is the rural area of San Andreas.
Other Mentioned Counties
Throughout the series, some names of counties were mentioned and referenced, but other than that, there is no evidence that they exist in the world itself.
Paleto County is the third-southernmost county of the state and is probably around the settlement of Paleto Bay. Lester Crest mentions it when planning for the Paleto Bay Heist. He also said that water north of Paleto Bay is not a part of the Pacific Ocean but rather a river, which is vital evidence of the Northern San Andreas Theory.
Red County is the fourth-southernmost county of the state. Not much is known about the county, but it was mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV.
The state features four known towns:
Sandy Shores is the most notable due to this being the home of one of the protagonists, Trevor Philips. The town is located in the center of the Grand Senora Desert, bordering the Alamo Sea to the north.
Chumash is a town mostly based off of Malibu, California. It is supposedly populated by hipsters, as stated by Dave Norton. There are many beachfront homes and some docks. It is bordered by the Great Ocean Highway.
Paleto Bay is the northernmost town in the state. Paleto Bay is known for being a visited landmark for people who like BASE-jumping from Mount Chiliad. Paleto Bay is a good rest stop for truckers on the Great Ocean Highway due to it holding various services such as a bank and a gas station.
Grapeseed is a town located at the northeast end of the Alamo Sea. The town contains a large amount of farms and is the second smallest town in the state, just behind the nearby town of Sandy Shores.
This is a list of communities that usually have no local government or services and are generally unrecognized as official territories.
- "Our coastal areas and beautiful lakes and rivers are a dream come true for those who crave aquatic adventure. Come relax and take a swim at our beaches (unless it's just after a storm, in which case the runoff is toxic), or go deep and scuba dive to the ocean floor. Keen oceanic explorers have even been known to discover some exciting finds in our coastal waters with the aid of the proper submersible equipment."
- ―Official tourism website for San Andreas.
San Andreas has a rich and diverse variety of ecosystems ranging from mountains to canyons. These include locations throughout San Andreas that are typically unsettled by humans and populated by different animals.
- Alamo Sea
- Banham Canyon
- Braddock Pass
- Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness
- Great Chaparral
- Grand Senora Desert
- Lago Zancudo
- Mount Chiliad
- Mount Gordo
- Mount Josiah
- North Chumash
- Paleto Forest
- Palomino Highlands
- Raton Canyon
- San Chianski Mountain Range
- Tataviam Mountains
- Tongva Valley
- Different species of fish
- Monkeys (Non-Indigenous)
- Bigfoot (A human in a costume) (Only "seen" in the Last One mission) (Also seen by using a special Peyote plant)
San Andreas has a complex highway system that contains many elaborate routes, interstates, and freeways. The system reaches all throughout the state and is the most developed highway system in the Grand Theft Auto series to date.
Grand Theft Auto IV
There are numerous references to San Andreas in GTA IV and its episodes. These include characters mentioning locations, TV shows, and radio; however, they refer to the GTA: SA rendition of San Andreas instead of GTA V.
As seen by character dialogues and Internet sites, the city names Los Santos (including Vinewood), Red County, San Fierro, and Las Venturas are still used, confirming that these locations exist in the HD Universe, though it's possible that these cities are a part of the state of San Andreas but are not included in Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Many characters are born in either Los Santos, San Fierro, or Las Venturas.
- In multiplayer, female face #2 says "This isn't San Andreas! DRIVE, hippy!" during races.
- The clothing line Enema is based in Los Santos.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the stats can say "miles traveled from Liberty City to Los Santos." In The Ballad of Gay Tony, it says "miles traveled from Liberty City to Las Venturas." Also, when you hear other pedestrians on the sidewalk or the street talking on the phone, you may hear them mention San Andreas.
Episodes From Liberty City
- At the end of the mission Shifting Weight, Malc jokes that he and Johnny should get a room at the Jefferson Motel, a motel in Los Santos.
- During gang wars against the Angels of Death, Johnny will sometimes yell, "Go back to San Fierro!"
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- So far, San Andreas is the largest setting ever featured in the Grand Theft Auto series, with a total area of 49 square miles.
- Throughout GTA V, San Andreas is often accused of stereotypes that mirror real-life Californians. For example, the people of San Andreas are described as "illegal immigrants," "hipsters," and "fake plastic people."
- Just like the other locations featured in previous games, San Andreas appears to be a large area isolated from the rest of the United States. However, in-game maps of the U.S. seem to show a realistic-looking America, with the exception of a state in place of the real California. This altered state has the same general shape as the real-life California, except that the southern part of the state is missing; presumably, this is where the in-game San Andreas is located.
- San Andreas is the first map in the Grand Theft Auto series to consist of one solid landmass that remains unrestricted to the player (with exception of a few locations). Previous entries have consisted of several islands connected to each other that remained restricted to the player until a certain point in the story was reached.
- It was confirmed through Rockstar that the present area the player can explore in GTA V is not the whole state of San Andreas, but just the southern island portion of it. This might explain the lack of a designated state capital. It is likely that the GTA equivalent of the areas south of Los Angeles, including San Diego exist and are simply not depicted for gameplay purposes.
- Judging by the overall terrain along the coast of San Andreas, it would be assumed that the northeast coast (specifically around Mount Gordo) would have consisted of mostly desert and eventually Las Venturas (had water not been used as a free-roam natural barrier). Part of this theory is supported by how the west coast consists almost entirely of natural beaches; whereas the east coast consists entirely of ridges and rock formations. To further back this theory, it is possible that the east coast would also serve as part of a river as the wreckage of a river steamboat can be found in the southeast section of the state as well as Lester mentioning in The Paleto Score that the body of water north of Paleto Bay is actually a river. The presence of Cape Catfish on the eastern coast of San Andreas, as well as islands and coves would not make sense if the east coast is supposed to be desert. The area south of the Palomino Highlands would most likely not be water as depicted, but would instead be the rest of Southern San Andreas, including the GTA equivalent of San Diego.
- San Andreas is the first fictional state in the GTA series to be featured with its own state flag. The flag resembles California's flag except that the red stripe and star is now blue and the bear is replaced by a beaver. The animals are also facing different directions.
- San Andreas in HD Universe's shape sightly resembles Corvo Island (Crow in Portuguese) from Azores archipelago.
- It may be that the beaver is the official state animal of San Andreas as seen on its flag. In real life, the official state animal of California is a bear.
- California and its locations are mentioned several times in the radio. There is also a California license plate on a wrecked car in the Grand Senora Desert. Either this is a plot hole, or California is a nickname for the State of San Andreas in the GTA V universe.
- It is claimed that San Andreas has the worst air in the world, yet there is not much, if any, visible smog or air pollution. This implies that China's air quality is significantly better than its real-life counterpart, which would also be clear.