M. Giant's
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Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks


Tuesday, August 18, 2009  

The Next Level

I've written before about how much I suck at Grand Theft Auto III,, but I don't think I took into account that if I spent more time on it and really practiced and concentrated on completing missions, I could get so much worse at it.

That's not to say I haven't completed any missions in the time since I told you about my previous failures. I've actually done several, although if I went back and counted, the actual number would probably be distressingly low. For a long time, I was stuck not being able to go any further in the game until I completed one of two missions. But I completed one of those, and now there are four missions I'm stuck on. That's progress.

Big N'Veiny This is not an abrupt change of subject, but the name of the mission I've been stuck on the longest. In it, El Burro of the Diablos (or El Diablo of the Burros, I can never remember) assigns my character to follow a trail of his porn magazines around town, picking them up before the clock runs down. There are two challenges. One is that I start with 25 seconds on the clock. The other is that I have to do it with a van that steers like a shopping cart on a glacier. If you hit one of the stacks of magazines when you roll the van, it apparently counts, but that doesn't help you unless it's the last stack on the trail. Since I have never seen the last stack on the trail before running out of time, you can see why I'm stuck.

The other four are missions that were unlocked after I completed one called "Sayonara Salvatore." I was stuck on that one for a long time, too, because Salvatore's goons would blow up my car with me in it whenever they spotted me, no matter what I was driving. I eventually discovered that the secret was to simply stay out of sight and out of trouble and wait for Salvatore to expire of natural causes.

Paparazzi Purge The goal here is to get rid of a tabloid photographer who's taking shots of a Yakuza princess from a motorboat in the bay. What I'm supposed to do is steal a police boat and sink the reporter's boat using the built-in cannons. What usually ends up happening is the reporter gets away. Upon returning, though, I discovered something fun: when you dock the boat, you can actually drive it entirely up onto the dock! But then I fell in the water and died.

Kenbu But-Out It took me a while to figure out how to steal a cop car. It's hard to get away clean with one of those, because cops don't like being stolen from. My method is to try to get in the passenger side, then when the cop comes around to punch me, I run around to the driver's side and drive off, sometimes not even falling off a bridge. Getting the car rigged with a bomb and parking it outside the police station is easy enough, but the Liberty City Police Department, who don't care about any moving violations less serious than squishing pedestrians, stealing a car, or crashing into them where they can see you do it (and they quickly get bored of chasing you even for those) suddenly get real persistent when you blow a hole in the side of their HQ and drive off with a suspect in their paddywagon. And they way they keep chasing and crashing into me makes it hard to find the Pay & Spray (the place where you can get a car disguised to shake off the cops, which I can never find anyway). Eventually I rehearsed the getaway route so I could find it again, which worked -- except the Pay & Spray won't disguise a stolen paddywagon! Fuckers. So I did what anyone would do: crossed the bridge to Portland, where in addition to swarming cops I also had to deal with Chinese Triads and Italian Mafiosos who have orders to shoot me on sight. The mission ended shortly thereafter.

Uzi Rider To be fair, I've only attempted this mission twice, so it might not be as difficult as I think. What happens is I get into a crappy old station wagon with a couple of militant Rastafarians, drive back over to Portland (listening to Reggae the whole time, which I hate), and try to track down and kill a bunch of Diablos (or Burros, as the case may be) on behalf of the Jamaican Bobsled Team or whatever. The problem is that the guy I'm driving with wants me to 1) stay with the car and 2) not wreck it. Well, which is it, mon? I'm no good with guns in this game, so vehicles are my weapon of choice. Maybe next time I'll try to figure out how to drive his station wagon up into a touring coach, which I will then use to squash Diablos/Burros.

But maybe I don't want to complete this mission, because if the Diablos/Burros get as mad at me as the Triads and the Mafia are, will I ever get to finish Big N'Veiny?

In the end, it all adds up to a vicious cycle from which there is only one possible escape: buying Rock Band II.

posted by M. Giant 3:08 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

No! Don't go buying Rock Band anything. Your entries about GTA are really bringing me back. I love that game. Wish I still had my PlayStation so I could go back in time. My biggest problem was driving. It would say go right, I'd turn left. I'm not a big drive under pressure kind of guy I guess. Oh, and don't get me started on driving with a gun in my hand...

By Blogger supertoyz, at August 19, 2009 at 5:24 AM  

Wow, that sound frustrating, but enjoyable to read. I'm just a lurker, but thought maybe you could use a link to some cheats that will help you out.

http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/grandtheftauto3/hints.html

Missions will still be hard, but maybe you won't have to repeat so many times if you can get more health on demand.

By Anonymous Melissa, at August 19, 2009 at 6:36 AM  

I have been working on this game--with no cheats--forever. I am at the final mission, but don't have the money to even start it, so I have to go back and do the missions I didn't want to do.

That rasta one? That's one I'm stuck on. YEARS. YEARS, I've been working on it.

By Anonymous Kristen, at August 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

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