- "You know... we were just having a little creative meeting and things went a bit crazy and I somehow lost my pants!"
- ―Yusuf Amir
Yusuf Amir (Arabic: يوسف أمير) is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series that appears as the tritagonist in The Ballad of Gay Tony and mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV. Yusuf is a wealthy real estate developer.
Background and Personality
Yusuf Amir was born in 1977 in Dubai, UAE to Abdul Amir, an extremely wealthy real estate developer. Throughout his life he seeks to impress his father, a highly conservative businessman who frowns upon Yusuf's life as "a reckless orgy of sex, drugs and spending". He was born wealthy, as he claims to have had a golden train set as a child. He is also a trained helicopter pilot.
At somepoint he moved from Dubai to Liberty City to further develop luxury properties. His first project's construction site was locked down by Messina Family construction unions, until Playboy X hired Niko Bellic to kill them all hoping to gain favor with Yusuf. He would not meet with Playboy, instead temporarily shutting down the site and building a memorial for the workers.
Events of The Ballad of Gay Tony
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, Yusuf finally becomes a major supporting character. He wants to franchise Gay Tony's nightclub Maisonette 9, and hires Prince's bodyguard Luis Lopez as a mercenary. He takes a very fast shining to Luis in particular, seeking to impress him with his possessions and sometimes white lies (for example, in High Dive he claims that one week ago he was exhausted from test driving "sexy cars" and for two weeks, flew to Vice City with prostitutes). After only meeting Luis twice in Sexy Time, he is quick to say that they are like "brothers". Towards the end of the game, he gives Luis his gold-plated Super Drop Diamond (with a powerful gun in the glove compartment) and brings his Buzzard to aid Luis in a large gunfight, somewhat rare and profound of his otherwise selfish nature.
Yusuf is used as a plot device to symbolize extreme wealth, materialism and the temptation for Tony and Luis to sell out their beliefs (especially towards the ending). Unlike Ray Bulgarin, whose character shares some of these themes, Yusuf is a good guy in that he is clearly out to help Tony and Luis, as well as a more lighthearted comic relief.
Yusuf is somewhat well-known for his lavish, excessive real estate developments. Despite being an ideal candidate for I'm Rich, he does not seem to be famous outside circles of architecture or real estate buffs. His developments include:
- Persian Gulf: "Hanging Gardens of Amir", an apartment complex suspended by hot air balloons. The name is a clear reference to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
- Dubai, UAE: Yusuf "made headlines around the world" when he built the world's tallest building in 2005, only to tear it down the following day just to prove he could. The real world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa (aka Burj Dubai), costs $1.5 billion.
- Qatar, Persian Gulf: An 11-star underwater hotel and casino. It is meant to be Liberty City-themed, in the shape of a tiger, and contains a genuine Liberty City subway train (stolen by Luis) to give tours of a delicate coral reef. It is mainly a parody of the Hydropolis, a planned $500 million underwater resort near Dubai that was unfortunately cancelled. It may have also been inspired by Poseidon in Fiji or Jules' in Florida.
- Outer Space: He is seriously considering several zero-gravity developments in space, much like the real-life Galactic Suite project. He also says he wants a Maisonette 9 on the moon, if allowed to franchise the clubs.
- Liberty City, USA: Yusuf plans to build sixty luxury condo towers in Algonquin. He also discusses building a zoo alongside Luis with "sabre-toothed dodos and shit, women in gold cages, you name it!".
- Castle Gardens, Liberty City, USA: Yusuf's first project in the US, called the "Imperial Amir Towers". It will feature mostly solid gold and jewel-encrusted features, a floor-to-ceiling aquarium in the lobby, a dolphin pool with glory holes, and a Roman-style vomitorium (a common feature in stadiums that isn't directly associated with vomiting.) Their services will include 24-hour plastic surgeons, dwarf bellhops, all furniture thrown out and replaced daily (including "chaise lounges with seal skin coverings moisteurized daily by the moistness of Icelandic virgins"). Air is imported from the Himalayas. It is meant to be taller than Rotterdam Tower. It was quickly surrounded by controversy, after local groups criticized that it will "ruin the skyline of Castle Gardens" and it became the site of a union strike massacre. It is probably inspired by the cancelled South Ferry Plaza in New York City.
Yusuf's own residence is an ultra-luxury two story penthouse in Middle Park East, filled with his collection of gold-plated items. These include a cell phone, an Uzi and a scale model of Algonquin, among others. It also includes arcade machines, a big screen television (showing the end credits of GTA IV), and a unique flame painted Lycan (inaccessible to the player.) He refers to a billion dollars as "chump change" when talking to a real estate businessman (mentioning that it can't even buy a million dollars), also telling Luis in Caught with your Pants Down "If only my father gave me a few billion I could really call my own, then maybe I would grow up". In a conversation with his father during High Dive, he refers to $10 million as "maybe a little bit too much to spend in a month, but it was necessary!" In a photo attached to a newspaper article about Yusuf, he is pictured beside a black Infernus with a black Maverick helicopter in the background. This picture was taken outside a house in Northern Alderney, suggesting either that he also owns this house in addition to his penthouse apartment, or that Rockstar had originally planned to have him live there. In the ending cutscene from his trailer, it can be seen that even his construction helmet is gold
Yusuf is very relaxed and carefree man. He almost never worries about the problems in his life. Yusuf is also very cheerful and hyperactive. He also likes to annoy his friends, as he likes to use the word 'nigga' when greeting Luis, much to the latter's annoyance.
In GTA IV, however, Playboy X describes Yusuf as a serious and overworked man.
Yusuf is a common given name in Arabic countries. It is the Arabic variation of Joseph, and its meaning is 'God will add', rather fitting Yusuf's ambitious nature. The definition of Amir, in Arabic, is prince, or commander.
- Leslie Mitchell, a Weazel News reporter, claims Yusuf Amir is a personal friend of his, and as a result, does not restraint himself in defending Yusuf's construction project in Castle Gardens. He even goes as far as calling groups who are not in favor of Yusuf's project as "leftist loonies" who are arresting property development in the city.
- Yusuf likes the song "Arab Money," by Busta Rhymes, and is seen in cutscenes playing the song and dancing to it. He also sings the song in the end cutscene of For the Man Who Has Everything. This song can be heard on The Beat 102.7. It was also added to the soundtrack with The Lost and Damned before The Ballad of Gay Tony was released.
- In his pre-release trailer, during scenes from Departure Time, he's seen flying in a black Buzzard. In the final version of the game, the Buzzard is already gold at this point.
- A gold plated Hexer can be found outside his apartment in TBoGT Multiplayer.
- In Yusuf's mission cutscenes, on his TV, the player can see either Grand Theft Auto IV end credits or "The History of Liberty" end credits.
- Yusuf likes to replace the 's' in his name to '$' in his messages to Luis.
- Yusuf seems to speak faster and different from cutscenes when you are riding in a car with him in For the Man Who Has Everything.
- Yusuf could possibly have Kazakh relations as his mission Sexy Time may be a reference to Borat Sagdiyev's catchphrase from the movie Borat.
- The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Chinese Takeout
- Sexy Time (Boss)
- High Dive (Boss)
- Caught with your Pants Down (Boss)
- Not So Fast (Voice)
- Dropping In... (Post-mission phone call)
- In the Crosshairs (Post-mission phone call)
- For the Man Who Has Everything (Boss)
- Departure Time
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "A-mir $5 Million for a Penthouse View of Hell" by Leslie Mitchell, Weazel News (www.weazelnews.com) (In game website.)