- For the mission in GTA Vice City Stories, see The Exchange (GTA VCS). For the district in Liberty City in GTA IV, see The Exchange (GTA IV).
- "The real question is, did you turn up to rescue Maria, or to get me back? Well, I got news for you! Shooting you will be a pleasure, but dating you was only business! Throw over the cash. You have been a busy boy, but you haven't learned. I'm not to be trusted. KILL THE IDIOT!"
- ― Catalina
The Exchange is the final storyline mission in Grand Theft Auto III. It is given to the protagonist; Claude by Colombian Cartel leader and ex-girlfriend Catalina from the Cartel mansion in Cedar Grove, Shoreside Vale, Liberty City.
Catalina recently kidnapped Maria Latore. She now wants Claude to bring $500,000 to the Cartel mansion in Cedar Grove in exchange for not having Maria killed. Claude then arrives at the mansion and hands over the money to Catalina, who lies and walks off with the money, leaving Claude in the mercy of her Colombian Cartel men.
Claude is put under gunpoint by a Cartel gang member, but quickly escapes by punching him and taking the pistol he dropped. After being shot at, he shoots the Cartel men who start shooting, gets a car and exits the mansion only to find a helicopter hovering above him which holds both Catalina and Maria. Claude follows the helicopter all the way to the base of Cochrane Dam and kills every Cartel goon on his way.
After coming halfway and nearly closing into the helicopter as well as getting past all the Cartel goons who are heavily armed, Catalina drops off Maria at the loading bay, guarded by a couple of her men and reenters her helicopter. Catalina's chopper fires missiles at the ground while Claude gets to Maria, kills all the Cartel men. One Cartel member gets in a Barracks OL and tries to run over Claude. Claude picks up a rocket launcher on the boat to shoot down Catalina with Maria nearby. After a few initial missed shots, he successfully manages to hit the helicopter and it crashes against the dam in the water. Afterward, Claude and Maria walk together holding hands as they cross over to the other side of the dam.
While the credits are rolling on the screen Maria can be heard talking right before a mysterious gunshot, after which, she remains silent and is no longer heard. The news also report the crime scene with witness Clive Denver.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Get Catalina
- Follow the chopper to find Catalina
- Get Catalina
- Rescue Maria
- Take down Catalina's chopper
Tips and Tricks
- Park a car outside mansion before starting the mission so you can escape straight away, the guards at the gate have light weapons so you won't take much damage.
- Make sure you have collected all Hidden Packages beforehand as you will be stripped of your weapons during the opening cutscene, having a rocket launcher and other powerful weapons will make the dam seige and helicopter chase a lot easier and quicker.
- As soon as you leave the mansion gates, go down the winding road to the safehouse and pick up the weapons. Don't worry about falling so far behind the helicopter as it won't fail the mission. From the safehouse, take the shortcut to the dam by driving down the slope opposite to the road below. This road will lead straight to the dam's lower entrance.
- After escaping the mansion head over to Phil's Army Surplus (as stated above you won't fail the mission) and grab some firepower, when starting the mission make sure you have enough money.
- If the player somehow was able to jack a Rhino during a six-star wanted level frenzy or is able to get one from the Portland Emergency Vehicle crane and store it in Shoreside safe house garage, then it is highly recommended getting it after escaping the Cartel Mansion. The Rhino makes getting to the lower dam a cinch. It can simply crush the road blocks, blow up the Barracks OL and Colombians on ground level without a sweat. Although of course, the player still needs to get out and snipe the cartels on the watch towers and of course, eliminate anyone carrying flame throwers as that is the only weapon that can harm the Rhino.
- Also, using the Bulletproof Patriot acquired in Marked Man and parking it in the Shoreside Vale Safehouse garage or the Bulletproof Barracks OL acquired in Arms Shortage and parking it in the Staunton Island Safehouse garage is suitable in this mission to skip to the other end of the dam easily. WARNING: You will lose the any of the vehicles you used in the mission, this tip is not recommended due to the fact both of the vehicles are not replacable.
- This is the only storyline mission that is started in Shoreside Vale in GTA III.
- This mission is similar to The Sicilian Gambit in that both missions involve hostages being taken to remote locations and the protagonist taking down the antagonist on a helicopter.
- As Claude punches the Cartel member, Catalina instantly vanishes from the camera view. This was however, fixed in the iPad version.
- Claude will lose his weapons after being frisked in the cutscene.
- Until GTA V, this mission had the highest monetary reward for a storyline mission in the entire series ($1,000,000). The monetary reward in the mission The Big Score (from GTA V) lies between 20 and 30 million dollars (it varies, depending on the player's choices during the mission).
- This is, chronologically, the last mission in the 3D Universe.
- The helicopter that Catalina rides is actually a blank textured version of the police helicopter.
- It is unknown what happened to Maria after the mysterious gun shot.
- You can find audio of the final cutscene and credits in your audio folder of GTA III, located at:
C:/Program Files/Rockstar Games/GTA III/audio/END.mp3
- Or, if you have the Steam version of the game, it is located at:
C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/common/Grand Theft Auto 3/audio/END.mp3
- After this mission, the Colombian Cartel will now carry AK-47s.
- This is one of the three final storyline missions in the GTA series given by an antagonist, the other two being The Time's Come and Something Sensible.
- The line "Get this thing airborne!" is muted in the mobile version.