A headshot of Carl Johnson.

Grand Theft Auto is ready for a returning character

In GTA 6, GTA 6 Ideas by dave0 Comments

If there’s one thing that the constant barrage of BuzzFeed articles about nostalgia, current remakes of 80s movies, or the forum comments across various Grand Theft Auto websites tell me, it’s that fans want to revisit the lives of previous GTA protagonists. Last we saw, Tommy overtook the Vice City crime world in the 80s, CJ finally cleared his name in the 90s, and Claude killed his former girlfriend in the early 2000s. Niko and the other GTA IV characters are still fresh in people’s memories, and the GTA V trio are still in their glory with more storyline content promised in the near future. Claude Speed and the various protagonists of the 2D era also had their accounts, as did the other various characters throughout the series, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Shawn Fonteno (Franklin Clinton) discusses GTA V Storyline DLC:

Each of these characters all have a story to tell that would be well served in a sequel (or prequel, depending on the time period GTA VI takes place) that would be well received by fans. Although Rockstar has publicly stated that there are no plans to cross over characters from the different generations, the demand is such that character crossing may not be out of the question.

“El Burro is referenced as he was also referenced in GTA 1, so it felt appropriate that he should cross “universes” – the “universes” are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2d, 3d and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe. “

-Rockstar Games

If we ever did see a revival of characters, here is what we would like to see.

2D Universe

The 2D universe of GTA 1, 2 and the London games gets less credit than it deserves because the series didn’t gain huge cultural status until it entered the 3D realm, but that doesn’t take away from the story the protagonists deserve. Grand Theft Auto had 8 characters to choose from, and although some believe these characters are a representation of anyone, Rockstar could reignite a storyline and give more depth to these characters, as they tried to do with Claude Speed in GTA 2.

3D Universe

Graffiti artwork that reads "welcome back"

Welcome back to Grove Street

The more sought after revival of characters, the 3D era is known for making the series go mainstream in pop culture.


Rockstar has been ambiguous about Claude being the same person as Claude Speed, so we can only assume that they are different. A man of few words, Claude’s story ends with him killing his former girlfriend, Catalina. Although we see him again in San Andreas, the storyline takes place before the events of GTA III, so not much speculation can be made about what Claude is currently doing.

A picture of Claude from Grand Theft Auto V

Claude in GTA V

More recently, he’s been spotted in Grand Theft Auto V as a ‘parent’ for creating your online character, so the idea of him in the HD universe is there. The games he led where a hit, but his storyline is not as personable as the other 3D universe characters. As such, a Claude storyline may be very compelling in bringing to light the understanding of this troubled character.

Tommy Vercetti

Tommy was our first taste of a very lovable protagonist for a Grand Theft Auto game. He possessed great charisma, charm and wit and he was a well developed character. Vice City took place in the 80s, which helped make the game that much more memorable, so imagine an HD remake of Vice City during that time. Furthermore, Vice City has not had an HD version recreated yet, so seeing it come to life is still in the realm of possibilities.

Carl “CJ” Johnson

Equally lovable was Carl Johnson. After the events of San Andreas, he was well off, and with the return of Grand Theft Auto to Los Santos and the numerous references to Grove Street, fans remembered what it was like to rule San Andreas. Now that we have a modern version of Los Santos, adding CJ could possibly be an extension of sorts, seeing as Rockstar wouldn’t develop Los Santos again in a stand-alone game.

Either way, modders have taken towards recreating CJ in the HD universe. Alec Courtney of http://aleccourtney.com for example, created these hit versions of CJ in both his younger, GTA San Andreas age and a current, older version.

HD version of Carl Johnson

HD Version of Carl Johnson. Copyright © Alec Courtney, aleccourtney.com

An older version of Carl Johnson.

An older version of CJ, courtesy of GTA modder Alec Courtney of www.aleccourtney.com

Tony Cipriani and Victor Vance

Both of these characters could also see a revisit (obviously a prequel in Victor’s case). Much like Claude, these two can benefit from a full-fledged game with further character development, as opposed to the ‘port’ these characters were in.

The HD era

As mentioned previously, the likelihood of an HD era character getting a revival in a completely new game is currently slim because of how ‘fresh’ the HD games still are. We’ll still looking into the lives of Michael, Franklin and Trevor for GTA V, so they won’t be in any new games (other than expansions or DLCs).

Now for some community feedback. Who would you like to see make a return to Grand Theft Auto? What storyline would you like to see for that person? Share your thoughts below.

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