- "Wait, Sonny. You have my personal assurance you're gonna get your money back, and the drugs. And I'm gonna mail you the dicks of those responsible!"
- ― Tommy Vercetti
Thomas "Tommy" Vercetti is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (set in 1986) and mentioned in The Introduction, a prequel of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992), and in the game itself during the mission The Meat Business.
Tommy Vercetti is voiced by Ray Liotta, who starred in the Mafia-themed blockbuster film Goodfellas.
Grand Theft Auto series
Thomas Vercetti was born in Liberty City in 1951. His father owned a printing shop and as a boy Tommy helped him by cleaning the rollers. He had planned to follow in his father's footsteps, but in his own words, chose a different life. Dialogue spoken by Tommy while fleeing police indicates that he had a bad relationship with his mother.
At some point prior to 1971, Tommy joined the Forelli Family. He continued to work with the Forelli Family, making his way up the ranks and, presumably, becoming a made man. In 1971, Sonny Forelli, growing apprehensive of Tommy's increasing power, attempted to set up an ambush for him, under the guise of a hit in Harwood. However, Tommy not only survived, but killed all eleven men sent to kill him. He was arrested and convicted of eleven counts of murder, but since he kept quiet and turned no evidence on the Forelli Family, they used judicial connections to spare him the death penalty or life imprisonment. Tommy remained in prison for fifteen years, never informing the LCPD of any Forelli Family secrets.
In 1986, Tommy was released from prison after Sonny "pulled some strings". Sonny decides to send Tommy to Vice City, realizing that he is too well known in Liberty City; Sonny also wants to become involved in the drug trade. Tommy flies to Vice City along with Harry and Lee, meeting Ken Rosenberg at the airport, before immediately driving to a drug deal at the docks. The drug deal turns into an ambush, and Harry, Lee, and one of the drug dealers are killed. Only Tommy, Ken, and the other dealer escape the attack.
Tommy informs Sonny of the ambush and is reminded that Sonny is "not a man to be screwed with; Sonny makes it clear he wants his money and his drugs back. Tommy initially works for Ken, starting riots and intimidating jurors. While working for Ken, Tommy also meets Lance Vance, the other dealer, who seeks revenge for his brother who was killed during the initial drug deal. Tommy also works for Juan Cortez, an intermediary for the drug deal, who begins to look into the ambush for Tommy. Meanwhile, Cortez has Tommy steal missile technology chips and kill Gonzalez, who had talked about the deal.
Cortez, believing that Ricardo Diaz was responsible for the ambush, asks Tommy to act as protection for Diaz in a deal with the Cubans. The Haitians, enemies of the Cubans, ambush the deal, but are killed by Tommy and Lance. Diaz, seeing potential in Tommy and Lance, hires them to kill gang members who were stealing his money and steal the fastest boat in the city in order to purchase drugs from a dealer on a boat. Lance eventually attempts to kill Diaz for the death of his brother, but is captured by Diaz's men, though he is later freed by Tommy. The two subsequently go on to take revenge, killing Diaz in his own mansion.
The death of Ricardo Diaz brings change to Vice City, allowing Tommy and Lance to step in and continue the crime ring established by Diaz. Tommy, however, begins to look beyond the protection rackets established by Diaz and purchases a number of businesses around the city, most prominently the Malibu Club, the Cherry Popper Ice Cream Factory (a front for a drug running business), InterGlobal Films and the Print Works. After purchasing each business, Tommy helps establish their influence in the city. During this time, Tommy also begins to work for a number of smaller time criminals in the city, including the Cuban leader Umberto Robina and the Haitian leader Auntie Poulet (due to her drugging him), helping both sides attack the other. He also works for Avery Carrington's real estate business, Phil Cassidy's gun running business, Mr. Black's hitman business, Mitch Baker's biker gang, and Kent Paul's management of Love Fist. Tommy also went on to help Juan Cortez escape the city when the GIGN assault his yacht for the missile technology.
Sonny Forelli, growing restless and impatient, sends some of his men to collect some of his money from Tommy's businesses. Tommy kills the collectors, although not in time to save Earnest Kelly, the owner of the Print Works, from being injured. Tommy decides to give Sonny fake money printed at the Print Works. Tommy meets Sonny in person at his estate to give him the counterfeit cash, but Sonny informs him that Lance has sided with him, betraying Tommy. A gun battle ensues, with Tommy killing both Lance and Sonny, who also confirms Tommy's suspicion that he was set up in Harwood. Following the deaths of Lance and Sonny, Tommy and Ken take over, becoming the most powerful men in Vice City.
Life After 1986
Tommy Vercetti continued to run the criminal underworld of Vice City after 1986; during that time, Tommy's relationship with Ken became increasingly strained due to Ken's cocaine addiction. Tommy eventually got Ken into rehab at the Fort Carson Medical Center in Fort Carson, San Andreas. Although Ken completed rehab and got clean of his addiction, Tommy refused to speak to him following this and essentially cut all ties.
Tommy is mentioned by Ken in the mission The Meat Business in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, leading Carl Johnson to question, "Who the fuck is Tommy?" Rosenberg also calls Vercetti at the introduction video of the aforementioned game, this was also the moment where Rosenberg discovers that Vercetti was ignoring him.
Tommy Vercetti is depicted as both intelligent and temperamental. He is easily angered and quick to resort to violence. He has no hesitation about killing, though many of his victims are in turn trying to kill Tommy, or have done something that necessitates their deaths. The story does not require Tommy to kill any innocent people. Tommy does also show a softer side as seen with his relations with Mercedes Cortez and Earnest Kelly, whom he views as a father-figure due to his childhood memories of working with his father at a printworks.
He's a man of initiative, as he's not waiting to have things done. He usually takes immediate action to make his plans moving, in spite he already has people working for him. This was specially noticed in the cutscene of Bar Brawl, where Lance shows a lazy attitude towards the protection problem in hand and Tommy took care of it instead. These traits of initiative and willpower was what in the end made him take over Vice City's underworld in no time.
Out of all of the protagonists in the 3D Universe with defined personalities, Tommy is arguably the most brutal and vicious of them all, showing little to no remorse for any of his crimes and working primarily for himself as opposed to committing crimes to benefit others he cares about or to get out of a bad situation.
Despite all that, Tommy is also extremely trusting, especially toward those whom he feels helped him to achieve his goals, even if they have failings that almost cost him, such as when Mike screwed up the bomb fuse in Tar Brush café that brought down almost the entire VCPD upon it. This is especially true of Lance Vance, who he kept on trusting, despite him trying to "jump" Ricardo Diaz but didn't jump high enough or his lack of urgency in completing tasks assigned to him. Despite all of that, and Lance's obvious melt down, Tommy still viewed him as an equal partner, even letting Lance view what was going on at Print Works. This is why Lance's betrayal shocked and surprised Tommy, leading Earnest Kelly to quip, "Tommy, for a raging lunatic, you sure are naïve".
After that event, Tommy isn't as trusting anymore, but still will not kill a person who helped him. Such as when Ken Rosenberg's cocaine problem came to such a head, he sent him to Fort Carson Rehab Center in San Andreas to get cured up. However, by this time, Tommy learned the hard way to let go when a good deal goes bad and cut off all communications with Rosenberg after he got out. However, despite all of that and especially since Ken knew the ins and out of Tommy's empire, he would still not kill him considering how much he had done to Tommy's empire.
Tommy Vercetti shows many characteristics in common with Tony Montana, a drug lord from the film Scarface. The two both end up in exile, both arrive to the city in Hawaiian shirts, both rise to power in Miami using great amounts of violence, both build an empire from a large estate and mansion, both have short tempers and are prone to violence, both work as contract killers, and both killed their collaborators and took their ex-bosses' empires. The interior of the Vercetti Estate is even modeled after Montana's mansion, save for the lack of an indoor pool. There are, however, key differences, most notably that Tommy did not become addicted to his own narcotics and that Tommy survived the shootout in his mansion, as opposed to Montana who was killed, and Tony Montana is of Cuban descent, whereas Tommy Vercetti is of Italian descent.
Tommy Vercetti also bears some resemblance to 'Mr. Blonde' from the film Reservoir Dogs, played by Michael Madsen who also voiced Toni Cipriani, protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The film sees 'Mr. Blonde' released from prison after loyally doing time for his crime family, as Tommy did after the "Harwood Incident". Tommy later performs contract killings for a 'Mr. Black', whilst he is referred to as 'Mr. Teal' (a reference to the then deceased Leo Teal). He also has a small resemblance to his voice actor Ray Liotta
Murders Committed by Tommy Vercetti
|Leo Teal||Back Alley Brawl||Tommy murdered Leo due to his possible links with the ambushed drug deal.|
|Gonzalez||Treacherous Swine||Tommy murdered Gonzalez for leaking information about the drug deal between the Forelli Family and the Vance Crime Family.|
|Pierre La Ponce||Mall Shootout||Tommy murdered Pierre La Ponce to retrieve his stolen missile guidance chips.|
|Carl Pearson||Road Kill||Tommy murdered Carl Pearson under orders from Mr. Black.|
|Mrs. Dawson||Waste the Wife||Tommy murdered Mrs. Dawson under orders from Mr. Black.|
|Mike Griffin||Autocide||Tommy murdered Mike Griffin under orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Dick Tanner||Autocide||Tommy murdered Dick Tanner under direct orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Franco Carter||Autocide||Tommy murdered Franco Carter under orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Marcus Hammond||Autocide||Tommy murdered Marcus Hammond under orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Nick Kong||Autocide||Tommy murdered Nick Kong under orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Charlie Dilson||Autocide||Tommy murdered Charlie Dilson under orders from Mr. Black and for planning to rob a bank.|
|Sharks' Leader||Phnom Penh '86||Tommy murdered the Sharks's Leader in order to get Diaz' money back.|
|Haitian Warlord||Two Bit Hit||Tommy murdered the Haitian gang lord while dressed as a Cuban gang member to start a gang war between the Haitians and Cubans.|
|Ricardo Diaz||Rub Out||Tommy and Lance Vance murdered Ricardo Diaz for organizing the ambush of the drug deal between the Forelli Family and the Vance Crime Family.|
|Pedro Garcia||Gun Runner||Tommy murdered Pedro Garcia under orders from Phil Cassidy, due to his being a rival in the gun-running business.|
|Candy's Agent||Recruitment Drive||Tommy murdered Candy's agent after he refused to let Candy appear in his movie.|
|Forelli Capo||Keep Your Friends Close...||Tommy murdered the Forelli Capo for working with Sonny and attempting to kill him.|
|Lance Vance||Keep Your Friends Close...||Tommy murdered Lance Vance for betraying him and attempting to kill him|
|Sonny Forelli||Keep Your Friends Close...||Tommy murdered Sonny Forelli for betraying him, setting up the Harwood massacre that resulted in his arrest, and attempting to kill him.|
|Front Page Café Owner||Bar Brawl||Can be killed during Bar Brawl, though his death does not affect the storyline.|
|Cam Jones||The Job||Can be killed during The Job, though his death does not affect the storyline.|
|Pepe||Trojan Voodoo||Can be killed during Trojan Voodoo, though his death does not affect the storyline.|
GTA Vice City
GTA San Andreas
- In GTA IV, there is graffiti found around the map Tommy's name, along with the other 3D Universe protagonists. It states that they are all dead.
- Tommy's shirt can be seen in the wardrobe at The Compound safehouse in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
- Tommy speaks a little Spanish, as heard between his farewell to Colonel Cortez in All Hands On Deck and also in Café Robina when asking for a cup of coffee.
- Tommy Vercetti commits the greatest number of notable murders (i.e. identified characters, not optional thugs and unnamed people) in the GTA III era with a record body count of 19, plus a further 5 optional murders.
- Tommy is the oldest protagonist in the 3D Universe, being 35 in GTA Vice City, set in 1986. By GTA III in 2001, he would be 50, if he is not dead already.
- Tommy was the GTA first protagonist to speak.
- Tommy was the first protagonist in the 3D Universe to be named (Claude's name wasn't revealed until San Andreas came out in 2004)
- Tommy is also the only verbal protagonist who doesn't say the word "fuck". This is somewhat ironic, since Tommy is based on Scarface character Tony Montana, who used the word "fuck" and its variations no fewer than 182 times during the course of the movie.
- Tommy was referenced along with Max Payne on Rocket jump's Video Game High School webseries.
- The video game DRIV3R featured Hawaiian shirt-wearing characters known as "Timmy Vermicelli" hidden throughout each of its 3 main maps, who could be killed to unlock bonuses, a parody of both Tommy and the hidden package system of GTA games. Additionally, the Timmy Vermicelli characters wore armbands, making fun of the fact Tommy Vercetti is unable to swim and will die upon entering the water.
This is Tommy's dialogue during free roam.