In order to perform the heist, Michael may need to perform a couple of side-missions (Heist Setups) to get the necessary equipment. The preparation missions vary based on the approach chosen in Architect's Plans.
Two preparation mission have to be performed:
- The first one, Fire Truck, involves stealing a fire truck to be used in the heist.
- The second, Getaway Vehicle, involves parking a vehicle near the FIB Headquarters to be used in the escape.
There are no heist setup missions required for this approach.
If playing as Michael, you arrive at the garment factory in time to see Lester Crest preparing to torch the place, having decided that completing the upcoming FIB raid will result in the need to find a new base of operations.
Depending on the chosen approach in Architect's Plans, the mission will play out in either of two ways:
As Michael, the player drives to the FIB Building on Pillbox Hill. While driving, Michael will call Franklin to prepare a fire truck and the assigned crew members. After arriving at the headquarters, enter the building and go to the turnstiles. Michael shows the security guard Harvey Molina's ID, and is granted entry. Go to the elevator to the 49th floor.
On the 49th floor, head for the maintenance room and pick up the mop and bucket of water. Go to the office floor. Mop the dirty floor wisely, as mopping will cause dirt. Clean the mop in the bucket if it is dirty and keep on mopping. After that, plant the bomb in the open locker. Head for the next room and mop the floor. There are 4 dirty sections. It will take quite a while, especially on the far side of the room. Then, plant the bomb in the restroom. Pick up the mop and bucket and return them to the maintenance room. Get back to the elevator and leave the office.
Michael will call Franklin, who is now in a fire truck, and will inform him that the charges are set. Pick him up from Pillbox Hill. Before driving, open up the cellphone, then in Contacts select "Detonate".
After the cutscene showing the top floors of the building exploding, drive the fire truck to the FIB building. You will be in fireman's gear when you get out. Enter the building, ignoring the people standing there. Upon disembarking on the 47th floor, you have a limited supply of oxygen, so run fast and carefully. Keep following your crew up to the 53rd floor, which contains the target: a hard drive. Move to the server room, which you will find locked. Plant explosives on the door and blow it up. Approach the mainframe and steal the hard drive.
Follow Michael and the rest of the crew out of the building. Focus on running, ignoring the falling glass. As you and the crew go downstairs, the building behind you will collapse. Follow the crew to an alternate route by a locked door. When your crew tries to open it, there is a sudden explosion from ahead; if you have two unskilled gunman in your crew, one will die and the other survives; if there's one unskilled and one skilled in your crew, the bad will die. However, if both of the gunman are skilled, the explosion will just knock one unconscious. Help him up or confirm his death and keep moving, watching your oxygen supply as you go. Forget about the breaking pieces of stones, just keep running. An opening is seen- go down and be careful not to fall. While running, there'll be a sudden explosion, knocking Franklin unconscious. After waking up, the crew is a floor below him, try to get to them as quickly as possible. FIB agents will start shooting at you with pistols; kill them.
You must now run to the elevator shaft and rappel down. The game will instruct you on how to do this. Watch out for falling objects as you rappel down. After rappelling, leave the building and get inside the fire truck. Drive to the getaway location (the location where you parked your getaway vehicle during the heist setup). Destroy the fire truck after getting out and run far away from it. Finally, go to Lester's house. Mission complete.
Franklin arrives during Michael and Lester's discussion, and Michael and Franklin soon depart for the NOOSE Headquarters (government facility) near Tataviam Mountains and off Palomino Freeway. After heading to the NOOSE building, time advances to late midnight. The gunman and Franklin get in the helicopter, while the player control Michael as he flies to the jump zone in the form of a corona.
Michael and the others then jump out from the helicopter. Do not use the parachute immediately; instead, freefall until you are about a quarter of the distance from the building and then deploy it, steering the parachute carefully. Once you are inside the building, you will find the server room is locked. Plant a sticky bomb on the door and detonate it.
Hack the server terminal. The programs are on the cellphone, so Michael connects it to the machine. You are controlling the computer. The hacker will guide you through the process, or be clueless depending on skill, here are the steps:
- Access My Computer.
- Select External Device (J:)
- Click on HackConnect.exe.
- HackConnect.exe is a IP hacking program. The red number combination (e.g. 220.127.116.11) shows the correct combination. Select a set of 4 numbers on the number board. You have 1 minute to do this.
- Select BruteForce.exe.
- BruteForce.exe is a password decryption program. Red letters per column indicate the password. Select them until you form the word with red letters.
- Finally, a program called Down&Out.exe will appear on the menu. Select it and you should see a message such as "Copying file N:\Townley M\PaletoBayBankJob.docu". The hacker will take it from there.
After hacking, a security team has been deployed. Attack the team while the download is in process. Press the button assigned to see a glance of the download process. During the process, the chopper is brought in, but a Buzzard shows up and fires a rocket, destroying it and hitting a couple of floors. Keep fighting until a team with smoke bombs start attacking you. Try using Michael's "Bullet-time" ability for greater precision and a perfect shot.
Download completed, Michael will take the connected cellphone back.
Escape the FIB building, killing FIB agents along your way. The sprinkler system reduces visibility; depending on the hacker, they will or be unable to shut down the fire suppression system. A cutscene will show the wrecked helicopter as it falls to the ground. Continue fending off the agents.
After going down, you must rappel outside the building. All opposing units, both on ground and in the air are on the scene, waiting for the crew. During the descent, the hacker will warn you that an air unit is on sight. It is another Buzzard. Watch out, as it will be using Miniguns. Use Michael's ability to shoot the pilot's head (an RPG or minigun are other good options). Now advance and rappel again. Kill the last group of units on the ground.
Head over to the meeting spot to get out, however the escape depends on the driver you choose. If an experienced driver is chosen, they'll be already there in an ambulance, thus fooling the cops and escape clean. But if an inexperienced driver is chosen they won't be at the pickup spot, forcing the crew to fend off more cops and will show up late in a Burrito and the player will have to escape a 4 star wanted level. Get inside, and escape the cops if needed first, then drive away to Franklin's place in Vinewood Hills for a debrief. (the driver will take the ambulance/van away to be disposed of). Mission complete.
After either approach, Michael will exit the dwelling with the intent to call Dave Norton. The total take is constant at $331,985. Of this, Lester takes his standard 12% ($39,839), while Michael uncharacteristically turns down his share. The crew is then left with their respective cut, leaving Franklin with anywhere between $150,000 - $240,000.
- Go to the FIB Headquarters. - (Michael)
- Enter the building and go to the turnstile. - (Michael)
- Go to the elevator. - (Michael)
- Get the mop. - (Michael)
- Go to the offices. - (Michael)
- Mop the floor. - (Michael)
- Plant the bomb on the cabinet. - (Michael)
- Go to the next room. - (Michael)
- Mop the floor. - (Michael)
- Plant the bomb on the bathroom. - (Michael)
- Get the bucket. - (Michael)
- Put the mop back on the maintenance room. - (Michael)
- Go to the elevator and get out of the building. - (Michael)
- Pick Michael on Pillbox Hill. - (Franklin)
- Use the cellphone to detonate the C4. - (Franklin)
- Go to the FIB Headquarters. - (Franklin)
- Enter the building. - (Franklin)
- Go to the elevator. - (Franklin)
- Go to the top floor. - (Franklin)
- Plant a bomb on the door and detonate. - (Franklin)
- Pick the containment drive. - (Franklin)
- Follow the crew out of the building. - (Franklin)
- Go to the elevator shaft. - (Franklin)
- Go to the fire truck. - (Franklin)
- Go to the getaway vehicle. - (Franklin)
- Destroy the fire truck. - (Franklin)
- Go to Lester's house. - (Franklin)
- Go to the NOOSE Headquarters. - (Michael)
- Enter in the helicopter and fly to the dropping point. - (Michael)
- Land on the FIB Headquarters. - (Michael)
- Plant a bomb on the door and detonate. - (Michael)
- Hack the computer. - (Michael)
- Hold the FIB agents until the download is complete. - (Michael or Franklin)
- Escape the FIB building. - (Michael or Franklin)
- Use the rappel to get to the ground. - (Michael or Franklin)
- Take down the FIB chopper. - (Michael or Franklin)
- Go to the getaway vehicle. - (Michael or Franklin)
- Lose the police (Only if you selected a bad driver) - (Michael or Franklin)
- Go to Franklin's house. - (Michael or Franklin)
Gold Medal Objectives
- Time - Complete within 18:00
- Out of Breath - Escape with 40% oxygen remaining
- You Missed a Spot - Complete the mopping section within 03:00
- Abseiler - Abseil down the elevator shaft within 30 seconds
- Time - Complete within 19:00
- No Innocents - Don't kill any innocent civilians
- Headshots - Kill 20 enemies with a headshot
- Accuracy - Finish with a shooting accuracy of at least 70%
- Perfect Drop - Land perfectly on the main section of the roof
- Hacker - Hack the system within 45 seconds
Weazel News (Radio)
"Several floors of the FIB headquarters in Downtown Los Santos were gutted by a fire yesterday. Investigators believe that the blaze was started by incendiary devices hidden at two points in the building. The FIB are linking the arson to their network being compromised after it was discovered that their emergency backup server is missing. In a press conference, senior FIB agent Steve Haines has vowed to find the criminals behind the theft. He will be heading up the investigation."
"A team of criminals broke into the FIB's West Coast Headquarters in Downtown Los Santos earlier. Witnesses say they saw men parachuting in from a helicopter. The FIB claims to have shot down their helicopter. The aircraft crashed into the building, decimating several floors. The criminals were able to escape the building and a task force headed by special agent Steve Haines has been set up to bring them to justice."
"Troubling news from across the pond as a fire that gutted the top floors of the FIB's West Coast Headquarters in Los Santos, San Andreas has turned out to be cover of a massive data theft. An emergency containment hard drive in the server system was found to be missing, as fire inspectors found clear signs of arson in the building. The FIB are yet to make a formal statement detailing the contents of the files on the missing hard drive, or how Bureau security could have been breached so dramatically. In classic Vinewood style, the investigation is being headed by Steve Haines, an FIB agent come cheap TV presenter."
"Unknown assailants who broke into the Federal Investigation Bureau's West Coast Headquarters were forced to fight their way out after their escape helicopter crashed into the building. This morning the FIB is dealing with the effects of the fire, and pertinent questions about how the security system allowed such a breach. Following the incident celebrity Special Agent Steve Haines gave a press conference vowing to bring whoever was responsible to justice.
- @southernmarygjv - "Those terrorists getting into the FIB building is just the start. I know it. This is bad. I'm so freaked out. The guy at the Kebab house just looked at me funny."
- @bryceinchtin - "Now the FIB's headquarters are compromised? WTF!!! President Lawton dropped the ball again! Our national security is a joke!"
- The initial Weazel News report will indicate the same data theft and fire as other media. Strangely, the newscasters are different than those usually heard delivering the news. Later on, it will be stated in the news that the raid was a false alarm, and that it was just a fire.
- The covert version of the raid is based on the CIA HQ heist featured in the first Mission: Impossible movie, where Ethan Hunt and his team pose as firefighters, set off the fire alarm to gain access to the building, and finally steal the N.O.C. list and escape.
- In the roof approach, when using Bruteforce, the computer password will be different every time the mission is played. It can be "sentinel", "unlocked", "dynamite", "deadlock" or even "cream pie" (a cream pie being a sexual act, in keeping in with Rockstar's reputation for sexual humor).
- The Covert Approach for this mission has a tendency to lag on the Playstation 3 version of the game. This might be due to the high volume of polygons that are needed for this mission (fire textures, smoke, particles, scenery, debris, etc.)
- If played as Michael while retrieving a getaway car, he will still complain about trying to get there quickly or rush Franklin, even though he is the one who placed the getaway car.
- If Hugh Welsh is picked, after Michael hacks into the system and the FIB agents start coming, he will say, "This escalated quickly", a reference to the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
- Franklin is the only playable character who gets a cut from the heist. Michael instead opting out so that the rest of the crew would get their full cuts.
- Trevor does not participate in this heist due to his increasing tensions with Michael after he found out he betrayed him in Bury the Hatchet.
- The firefighter outfit is the only outfit acquired in the gameplay (along with Michael's rappel suit from Three's Company, the military bomb suits from The Paleto Score and Franklin's white tuxedo from Deep Inside) that cannot be kept and added to the players wardrobe.
- If the crew gets out of the Ambulance during the escape and drives a new vehicle, Michael will still compliment the driver for them choosing to use an Ambulance.
- The Sticky Bombs that Michael puts are actually an enlarged TBoGT model, instead of the GTA V model. Perhaps those cutscenes were BETA and it still unchanged. In the enhanced edition of the game, Michael uses GTA V sticky bombs.
- This mission was originally called "The Agency Heist" in BETA version of the game. This is noted in the game files. It implies that the crew originally had to break in the IAA building.
- There is also a soundtrack of the same name, "The Agency Heist".
- After completing the heist, Lester's garment factory will be boarded up from fire damage and inaccessible hereafter.
- The FIB building appears to be no more than 53 stories high; however, the buttons on the elevator's controls go at least as high as 59 stories.
- Sometimes, when the player restarts the covert approach, in the point where he plays as Franklin, he runs out of oxygen and dies instantly.
- Interestingly the emergency services seem to disappear when seen approaching the FIB Building while rappelling down the building (Roof Entry Only), as when the player gets to the bottom, the 10-13 police Interceptors coming around the corner are not seen on the streets, and only one Ambulance and 2 fire trucks are seen outside the building.
- If the roof entry was chosen, when the player rappels down the building, they will encounter a unique white Frogger with a Police Maverick spotlight.
- Due to a rare glitch, after the Covert Approach, once the heist crew has reached the getaway vehicle, Franklin may still be wearing the yellow fireman helmet, even though the entire crew has already changed out of their firemen outfits completely. His helmet will remain on his head even during the final cutscene at Lester's house.
- The mission could be a reference to the Watergate scandal.
- This mission, along with The Big Score, are the only two heist missions where low-skilled gunmen can survive. However, unlike The Big Score, the gunmen can be killed, but only in the Covert approach.
- The belt on the janitor's outfit if the Covert approach is chosen, is taken directly from the belt worn by LCPD officers in GTA IV, albeit without the holster and magazines.
- The floor display on the elevator in the Covert Approach shows two digits while on the first floor. But, strangely, it displays three digits once Michael reaches the office.