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Passing the Paramedic Mission
Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:26 AM
It literally took me years to pass the Paramedic mission in GTA3. When GTA3 came out, I tried to pass the ambulance sub-mission a few times, gave up, and eventually moved on to Vice City, San Andreas, and the Stories games. I would have forgotten about it entirely, but a few days ago I was feeling nostalgic, so I reinstalled GTA3 and finally figured out how to pass the mission. I'm writing this short guide because most of the walkthroughs I've read contain what I consider to be "wrong" advice for this mission, and also because I feel like celebrating a little.
Let's first get the obvious stuff out of the way, shall we?
These sorts of suggestions are found in most guides:
- Pick up patients in groups of three
- Use the hand brake to take corners without flipping
- Avoid crashing to preserve the ambulance's health
- Avoid running over the patients
- Do the missions early in the story-line, when fewer people hate you
Now, for the piece of advice where I think most guides get it wrong:
Where to do the Mission
Most guides suggest doing the mission in Portland, early in the storyline, before the Triads hate you. Portland is small, the hospital is centrally located (more on this later), access to the hospital is easy, and there is no-one shooting at you. However, I would strongly urge you to try Stuanton Island instead. Here's why:
Staunton Island Advantages
Staunton Island is flat. There are a few gentle slopes (by the Casino, around Belleville Park, etc), but by and large you won't have to negotiate hills. Portland's steep hills pose a higher roll-over threat.
In Staunton the streets are wide, straight, and uncomplicated. The coastal roads on both the east and west sides of the island are especially great for traversing the length of the island quickly. With a few exceptions, Portland's streets are narrower, more difficult to navigate (especially in the Red Light and Chinatown districts), and have more obstacles on the side (plant boxes, L-train supports, little stairways, etc.)
Most importantly, the paramedic mission in Staunton gives you significantly longer times than in Portland. When you pick up a patient in Portland, you generally get about 30 seconds added to your time, plus or minus some. In Staunton, the average pickup bonus is around 60 seconds; sometimes it was over two minutes. It's not unusual to complete the higher paramedic levels with several minutes left on the clock, giving you plenty of time to drive carefully. (FYI, the smallest pickup bonus I've seen in Staunton was 35 seconds, which was still doable... in Portland it was an impossiblely small 15 seconds).
This is because the game calculates bonus times based on how close patients spawn to the hospital. In Portland patients can spawn right across the street from the hospital, and since it is centrally located the calculated pickup times can never get very high. In Staunton the average distance to patients is somewhat longer, and so the pick-up times become disproportionately huge. This, paired with Staunton's great roads, makes time much less of a factor in the Paramedic mission.
There are, of course, a few disadvantages to Staunton:
Staunton Island Disadvantages (and how to deal with them)
Staunton Island "officially" opens up midway through the game. However, those people who want the Paramedic mission rewards before this (such as in a master save file) have the option of going to Staunton Island early. One cheat-free method of getting there is jumping across the broken bridge girders, as described in other guides; it will take a few tries but practice makes perfect. Once across you can save at the Staunton safe-house.
One obvious disadvantage to doing the Paramedic missions here is the difficulty of entering and leaving the Staunton hospital. You can either go down the stairs (which probably damages the ambulance), or go the long way around through the curving road to the parking lot entrance. While annoying, this isn't too much of a problem... with the generous time limits, you don't really have to worry about getting in and out in a big rush. Take it slow and avoid damaging the ambulance. You can also cut across the grass near the east entrance to get onto the highway to speed things up a little.
The biggest disadvantage to Staunton Island is that the Cartel hates you, and they spawn around the construction site, close to the hospital. You can tell which streets are owned by the Cartel based on where their Cruisers tend to spawn. If you see a Cruiser, you're in Cartel territory. It looks like only four streets are controlled by them: the roads bordering the East, South, and West of the construction yard, and a short stretch beside the little iron bridge on the coast. Fortunately, patients only rarely spawn near the construction site, and at all other times you can avoid those roads with very minor detours (such as using the road going by the stadium).
Since time is no longer much of a problem, the name of the game is preserving the health of your ambulance for those rare cases when you need to risk gunfire by picking up a patient in Cartel territory. Drive carefully, avoid crashes.
Also avoid hitting pedestrians through side-walk surfing. Not only will you feel better about not causing needless carnage (heh), but hitting pedestrians causes quite a bit of damage to your ambulance, and risks attracting the police. This includes patients you've recently dropped off... instead of backing over them to get out of the hospital, try turning into the marker sideways so that you can drive forward and turn to get out. It's not only less damage, it's also faster.
On a related note, how you use the sirens determines how easily you can thread through traffic. Sirens will stop on-coming vehicles, and make vehicles ahead of you try to swerve out of the way, but the effect can easily cause problems with traffic behaving unpredictably and swerving back into you. I find it best to drive with the sirens off, and turn them on breifly when I want to clear a path through a knot of vehicles in my way.
When you're on the highways travelling at a good speed with no one ahead of you, you can take the opportunity to glance at the HUD map. The map zooms out the faster you go, giving you helpful clues about the locations of the patients. Just remember not to stare at the map too long... vehicles can spawn in your way quickly. You can also use the "time remaining" clock for a hint as to how close patients are to hospital... the less time given, the closer they are.
That's it for my guide... I hope you enjoyed it. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:43 AM
|QUOTE (jheath @ Jan 10 2008, 11:26)|
|- Pick up patients in groups of three|
Your ambulance will be repaired a little bit when you drop off a patient, so collecting patients one by one can help you keep your ambulance, though it does save time if you get patients in groups. I can't check this for GTA3, but it works this way for sure in Vice City and Liberty City Stories.
Edited by rav0, 05 April 2010 - 02:46 AM.
Posted 10 January 2008 - 05:25 AM
|QUOTE (rav0 @ Jan 10 2008, 03:43)|
Your ambulance will be repaired a little bit when you drop off a patient, so collecting patients one by one can help you keep your ambulance, though it does save time if you get paitents in groups. I can't check this for GTA3, but it works this way for sure in Vice City and Liberty Ciry Stories.
I've done this loads of times in GTA III, VC & SA and I've never noticed the ambulance getting repaired. Mind you, I try not to damage it too much
But I would think that any slight gain you might make by taking the patients in one at a time would quickly be wiped out by the extra risks you'd have to take driving the extra distance. I'll stick to taking them in three at a time thanks.
Edited by Steve Crook, 10 January 2008 - 05:27 AM.
Posted 10 January 2008 - 04:28 PM
Mind you, some contributors to the forums claim that the GTA3 ambulance does self-repair, so I could be wrong. I suppose you could test it by crashing the ambulance in the exact same way on two different attempts, then rescue some patients in one of the attempts, and then see how many bullets it takes to destroy the ambulance each case.
Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:12 AM
Posted 11 January 2008 - 04:13 AM
|QUOTE (The Horror Is Alive @ Jan 11 2008, 02:12)|
|Nice guide. But no matter how many hints, tips, and walkthroughs are thrown at you, the Paramedic mission is still a nasty little sonovabitch.|
Especially when you run over the very last patient.
Even a nun would swear if she did that
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:19 PM
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:23 PM
My advice: Do it in Portland before any gang hates you.
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:24 PM
|QUOTE (Danny the III fan @ Apr 5 2008, 22:23)|
| It's really easy once you get the hang of it.|
My advice: Do it in Portland before any gang hates you.
I'm doing it on the second island but it's not easy. I keep getting shot at!
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:31 PM
Thanks for the guide!
Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:07 PM
Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:20 AM
|QUOTE (Yatesyz @ Apr 5 2008, 22:07)|
|I'm so f*cking pissed off. I got to level 8 and some dumbass goes and bashes into my ambulance and makes me blow up. Does that mean I need to do the whole thing again?|
Yes. But if it blows up after just one crash that means it's too delicate. Probably because you've already had quite a few crashes while doing the mission. If it was that delicate on level 8 then you probably wouldn't have got to level 12 anyway.
It's stating the obvious but try hard to have as few crashes as possible
Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:26 AM
I've mastered the paramedic missions now.
Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:35 AM
|QUOTE (Yatesyz @ Apr 5 2008, 21:24)|
I'm doing it on the second island but it's not easy. I keep getting shot at!
It's definitely easier on the first island
Posted 06 April 2008 - 10:32 AM
Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:39 PM
|QUOTE (Yatesyz @ Apr 6 2008, 10:32)|
|I keep getting blown up at level 8. I DIDN'T crash once, but I get shot at a lot. I've come to conclusion I will need to start the game again and do the paramedic mission first before the gangs hate you.|
I don't think you would have made it to (and through) level 12 if you were badly shot up or damaged much in any way.
Do it on the first island and before you take Tony to visit the triads so that they don't shoot you on sight - you'll probably be picking up casualties in their territory.
I always do it very early in the game. That reward of infinite sprint is very useful. As is the health & adrenalin tokens that it puts by your hideouts
Edited by Steve Crook, 06 April 2008 - 12:42 PM.
Posted 07 April 2008 - 12:37 AM
Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:53 AM
While doing on Staunton i had reached the 12th level twice (9,10,11th levels umpteen times) and had even picked up the last patient, but imagine my heartbreak when once my ambulance blew up & the second time i lost it by a single second . But i finally managed to complete the paramedic mission with the help of this guide and lots of patience.
Many points like good long bonus time for picking patients, long wide straight roads have already been mentioned by the topic starter, so here are some of my experiences and tips for completing the mission in Staunton island.
*Don't worry about time since you will have lots of it since the pickup bonus in staunton island is usually higher, except in some rare cases.
*Preserve your ambulance health by keeping the damage minimum, by driving slowly & totally avoiding any collisions during the initial pickup levels, you may have to speed up only during the higher levels(above 6) since there is no bonus for dropping the second lot of 3 patients. I had not even one scratch on the ambulance upto the 7th level.
*So preserving your ambulance health helps a lot when you have to pick up patients around the construction site and the damage from the gunfire will be minimum.
*I never used the stairs of the hospital instead traversed the grassy entrance near the car park & sometimes when i had a lot of time, even the back road entrance which again meant no damage to the ambulance.
*Plan your pickups by dividing Staunton into two parts. West, which comprises west of belleville park, Bedford point and Aspatria and east, which has east of belleville park Torrington, Newport & Fort Staunton. When you go around scouting for patients keep an eye on the radar for the possible positions. If you find someone don't go near unless you are short on time, rather head for the farthest blip or two on the radar as you can return for the discovered one anytime.
*After the pickuplevel 3 when you have to make multiple trips to the hospital you will get bonus only for the first drop of 3 patients use the advantage for picking up the farthest patients or the most difficult ones(inside belleville park, around construction site). In higher levels (above 6) sometimes patients appear very close to the hospital, so don't get tempted and leave them for the last pickups since you will have the confidence of knowing their positions and can always claim them when you are running short of time.
*Keep your patience & do not panic by tring to rush back to the hospital to drop off patients especially when you have ample time(the reward "infinite run" for completing is very excellent for doing everything on GTA3 and you may sometimes never need a car to go from place to place & escape from tight situations like vicious gangs & law enforcement on your back).
*The main difficulty in Staunton island is that sometimes patients(this happens one or two times during the mission & if you are lucky never) are inside the railings of the construction site sidewalk with the hostile Columbians & their guns to be confronted with. So my advise here is if you see a Columbian approaching from the front, run over him, if he is walking forward away from your approach he will only fire if you pass him, so let him pass and then make a move towards the patient. Draw the patient from the railings to the open, pick him up and then speed away like hell away from the danger area.
*There is one rare impossible situation in Staunton island when you cannot pickup the patient and you are going to fail when a patient appears inside the Hyaku dojo in Torrington near the cathedral. No matter however you try the patient gets stuck inside the entrance and cannot board the ambulance. I think it is a bug or flaw which the makers of the game overlooked.
Well i hope this might help some of those trying to complete the Ambulance mission without using any cheats and I once again thank the topic starter for his guidance.
Posted 07 July 2010 - 06:35 PM
It only took me two "serious" tries (I did 2-3 before that, while getting used to controlling the ambulance, but failed to get past even level 3).
First try after getting the hang of the ambulance I got to level 9, but ran out of time due to the ambulance rolling over a few times too many (not getting destroyed, just rolling around and back upright) and losing time.
Second time, I finished it without much trouble, except suppressing the boredom of repetitiveness.
For info, I did it in Portland (can't get to Staunton yet), having done all missions for Luigi, Joey and Marty Chonks, and a few for El Burro.
Neither Triads nor Mafia were hostile yet.
My main "trick" was to just take it easy, and avoid rolling around or bumping into things, rather than going fast.
Time isn't really much of an issue most of the time, as long as rolling or bumping can be avoided.
Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:42 PM
|QUOTE (laezy @ Saturday, Feb 14 2009, 08:53)|
|*There is one rare impossible situation in Staunton island when you cannot pickup the patient and you are going to fail when a patient appears inside the Hyaku dojo in Torrington near the cathedral. No matter however you try the patient gets stuck inside the entrance and cannot board the ambulance. I think it is a bug or flaw which the makers of the game overlooked.|
All I need to do to 100% GTA 3 is finish the paramedic missions. I just got to level 11 on Staunton Island and some random douche bag spawned inside the Hyaku Dojo in Torrington and it was impossible to pick him up so I failed to get to level 12 and finish the game 100%.
Usually I would be pissed off but I have been taking these prescribed drugs lately so I am very calm.
Not sure what to do now. Really can't be arsed to do all that again!
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