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The Gangs of GTA

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  • Osric

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:25 PM

Okay, I noticed a lot of parallels between various GTA gangs and real-life gangs and crime families. This is especially present in IV, but it is also remnisicent in the III Canon, especially in SA.

Here's what I've noticed, at least from my opinions and views. I'll start with IV since it is the easiest to distinguish.

Gambetti Family: Gambino Family

Messina Family: Genovese Family

Lupisella Family: Lucchese Family

Pavano Family: Bonnano Family

Ancelotti Family: Colombo Family

Pegorino Family: DeCavalcante Family

Faustin Bratva: Izmaylovskaya Bratva/Potato Bag Gang

Petrovic Bratva: Solntsevskaya Bratva

Albanian Mob: Rudaj Organization

Irish Mob: The Westies

Spanish Lords: Latin Kings

Northwood Dominican Gang: Trinitarios

The Lost: Outlaws MC

Angels of Death: Hells Angels

North Holland Hustlers: Crips

M.O.B: United Bloods Nation

Korean Mob: Toa-Kai Yakuza(Although the Yakuza itself is Japanese, the Toa-Kai tribe was founded by a Korean and employed many Koreans)

Algonquin Triads: Wah Ching Tongs

This is my own personal observations, and you guys can agree or disagree, as well as post your own theories. Soon, I will post the parallels between III Era gangs and their real-life counterparts.

  • Kwandilibro

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:31 PM

GSF= Bloods

Ballas= Crips

  • Kratos2000


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE (Kwandilibro @ Jan 23 2011, 21:31)
GSF= Bloods

Ballas= Crips

the other way around.
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  • Mati

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:54 PM Edited by mati1501, 23 January 2011 - 10:00 PM.

QUOTE (Kratos2000 @ Jan 23 2011, 21:49)
QUOTE (Kwandilibro @ Jan 23 2011, 21:31)
GSF= Bloods

Ballas= Crips

the other way around.

Wrong. Ballas=Crips and GSF=Bloods.

  • Tycek

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:59 PM

Ballas - Crips
GSF - Lime Hood Pirus gang

  • australiadreamin

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:08 PM

Uptown Riders - Ruff Ryders..

  • Osric

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:31 PM Edited by Osric, 23 January 2011 - 10:34 PM.

III Canon Gangs

Liberty City Gangs

Leone Family: Gambino Family (Salvatore Leone is based off of Paulie Castellano, who was old-school and very paranoid. Also, Sal in III is opposed to the drug trade, probably because of how Miguel screwed the Leones over in the drug deal in LCS. Paulie Castellano hated the drug trade with a passion, believing it violated Mafia codes of conduct and brought unwanted attention. Much like Paulie Castellano, Salvatore Leone was betrayed and murdered by one of his underlings)

Sindacco Family: Colombo Family with elements of the Chicago Outfit (The Outfit were the first to hit Las Vegas, and the Sindaccos are the first to establish power in Las Venturas. Paulie Sindacco is very flashy and wears a fancy tuxedo suit and sunglasses, much like Joe Colombo)

Forelli Family: Bonnano Family (They were the first to open up Mafia rackets in Miami, much like how the Forellis tried to do in Vice City)

Portland Triads: Flying Dragons Gang (They're a Chinese gang, but are more street-level than traditonal Triad and Tong gangs)

Diablos: Latin Kings (Their clothing is pattered after Latin King attire, complete with the Crowns on the backs of their jackets and the bandannas)

Liberty City Yakuza: Yamaguchi-Gumi Tribe (The only Yakuza tribe to ever have a female leader, they're also opposed to the drug trade, as evidenced in Asuka's dialogue, much like the Yamaguchi-Gumi)

Uptown Yardies: JLP Posse (While their structure is more like a traditional Yardie gang, their military style and brutal assaults are more in tune with the better organized and better armed Posse gangs, the largest one in Jamaica being the politically-driven JLP's, who often wear military fatigues like the Yardies did in III)

Liberty City Colombian Cartel: Los Zetas (While Los Zetas is Mexican, the methods and operating styles of the Liberty City Cartel is more like the Mexican Cartels rather than Colombian ones)

Red Jacks: East Coast Bloods (The red as their color, plus the Red Jacks worked with the Leones in LCS against the Forellis, certain smaller sets of Bloods in New Jersey have worked with the DeCavalcante Crime Family as extra muscle, although not often)

Purple Nines: Crips (They are major rivals with the Red Jacks, much like how the Bloods and Crips hate each other)

Sicilian Mafia: Ndrangheta (While the Ndrangheta is Calabrese and not Sicilian like Torini in LCS, the Ndrangheta is more politically active and has been known to employ foreign gangs and non-Italians as allies in wars with other Italian Crime Families, including ones in America, much as how Massimo Torini did with the Triads and Diablos. The Ndrangheta has a very minor and weak presence in the Northeastern United States, although often at odds with established Cosa Nostra syndicates and forced to rely on other gangs for help. Also, the Ndrangheta operations in the US are almost entirely reliant on the Ndrangheta back home in Italy for their operations, much as how the Siclian Mafia had no actual turf in LCS)

Avenging Angels: Guardian Angels and FSU (The Avenging Angels are a non-criminal biker group like the Avenging Angels, but have been known to employ vigilante tactics and brutal violence against other criminal gangs, much like FSU in Boston and New York City)

Vice City Gangs

Vercetti Gang: No real-life equivalent, draws from many gangs all over Florida. They have no set ethnicity requirements, and their structure is like a mix between a Cartel and a Mafia Family.

Vice City Bikers: Warlocks MC (An outlaw motorcycle gang all over Florida, common in Miami)

Diaz Cartel: Medellin Cartel (Ricardo Diaz bears strong resemblances to Pablo Escobar, plus they both use torture extensively. The chainsaw attacks featured in Scarface and Vice City originated in the Medellin Cartel)

Cortez Cartel: FARC (More politically driven and has been known to deal in stolen military goods as well as drugs)

Haitian Gang: Zoe Pound Gang (A violent Haitian gang based in Miami)

Cuban Gang: Not entirely sure, mostly based off of Cuban sets of Latin Kings in Florida.

The Sharks: Various white greaser street gangs that existed between the 1950's and late 1970's. Their name is even taken from a gang in the movie West Side Story.

Trailer Park Gang: Aryan Brotherhood (They're all racist rednecks who use the Confederate and Nazi flags as symbols)

San Andreas Gangs

Grove Street Families: Bloods (Although it is somewhat interchangeable, the GSF are most resembling the Bloods in San Diego, who wear green alongside red. The Bloods originated in Compton to fight back the Crips, much as how the GSF has the default turf of Ganton. Also, the West Coast Bloods are heavily affected by set tripping, and while the Crips suffer from set tripping as well, it is more prevalent with the Bloods in Los Angeles than in other cities. Also, the GSF refer to each other as "Dawg", a term of endearment used by Bloods)

Ballas: Crips (Again, interchanegable, but the Ballas are more unified, although are not immune to set tripping as much. While East Coast Crips suffer from more set tripping, West Coast Crips aren't as badly hit by it. Also, the Crips were the first street gang to get heavily involved with crack cocaine, although the Bloods did get involved just as deeply later. The Ballas wear purple, much like the Grape Street Crips in Los Angeles. Plus, Ballas refer to each other as "Cuzz", a term of endearment used by Crips)

Vagos: MS-13 (Extremely violent, deranged, and uses yellow as a gang color, much like West Coast MS-13. They also are allied with the Ballas, much like how MS-13 and Surenos gangs have allied with Crips in Los Angeles)

Varrios Los Aztecas: 18th Street Gang (Rivals to the Vagos, much as how the 18th Streets are to MS-13. Plus, light blue is a color for the 18th Street Gang in certain Los Angeles sets.)

San Fierro Triads: Wah Ching Tong (A major Tong gang based out of San Francisco. The San Fierro Triads are also heavily organized like the different Tong gangs of San Francisco, and are steeped in gambling and heroin trafficking like the San Fierro Triads. However, both the San Fierro Triads and the Wah Ching Tong in San Francisco were opposed to the crack cocaine trade in the 1980's and 1990's.)

Da Nang Boys: Tiny Raskal Gang (A small-time gang in California originating in Southeast Asia. Known to be very violent and has warred with Tong syndicates before.)

San Fierro Rifa: Nortenos (Big Smoke refers to the Rifa being Northern, which may imply they are from Northern Mexico and are structured like Nortenos. The Nortenos are also known to be steeped in the crack and meth trade in California, much like the Rifa are.)

  • Kwandilibro

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE (Tycek @ Jan 23 2011, 17:59)
Ballas - Crips
GSF - Lime Hood Pirus gang


GSF was based on the Lime Hood Piru of Compton, CA; who wear green aside their red. And the Ballas are based on the Grape Street Watts Crips of Watts, CA; who reside around the Jordan Downs housing project (which looks very similar to the projects in Idlewood). Also, GSF throws up "g"s that look like "b"s, while the Ballas throw up "b"s that look like 'c"s.

The Varrios los Aztecas, I really don't know; and the Vagos, they could have been based on a number of Mexican gangs in or around LA.

  • Osric

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:42 PM

In terms of famous crime figureheads, these are the different parallels between GTA characters and actual famous gangsters. I'm not saying that R* based these characters off of various gangsters, but they do bear significant resemblances to these figures. The III Canon parallels are a little blurrier and looser, but are present.

Claude Speed: Henry Hill (A loose cannon who works extensively for the Mafia. He is only an associate and will only ever be one. Like Henry Hill, Claude Speed betrays the Mafia, although by killing his boss rather than testifying against him. Claude also collaborated with corrupt cops, much like Henry Hill allegedly did. He was essentially a street hoodlum that did a lot of damage to the Mafia's enemies, before damaging the Mafia itself.)

Luigi Goterelli: Paulie Vario (A Mafioso heavily involved in prostitution and entertainment. Luigi is extremely defensive of his girls as was Paulie Vario. However, the real Paulie Vario owned bars and restaurants, rather than strip clubs. Yet both were involved in extortion and pimping, as well as robbery. Paulie Vario opposed the drug trade, especially within his crew. Luigi has you kill a noted drug dealer.)

Joey Leone: Thomas Gambino (A Mafioso who is a direct relative of the Family's founder. Like Thomas Gambino, Joey Leone is a high-ranking Mafia member, but is not very involved in direct Mafia business. Although, he does deal in robbery, just like Thomas Gambino.)

Toni Cipriani: Salvatore "Sammy The Bull" Garvano (A brutal and violent mobster, has killed dozens of people and is feared by many people. Both Garvano and Cipriani are very protective of their mothers and did their best to impress them. Unlike Sammy, Toni is actually fairly intelligent and is loyal to the Family. However, he has probably killed more people and ordered more hits than any other member of the Leone Crime Family. Salvatore Garvano was a notorious murderer and sociopath.)

Salvatore Leone: Paulie Castellano (Old-school and extremely paranoid. Had many mistresses and a cheap trophy wife. He opposes the drug trade in III, which is explained in LCS when the Cartel and Miguel betray the Leones in a bad drug deal. Paulie Castellano was known to kill anyone that he suspected to be involved with drugs, both outside and inside of the family. Also, he is betrayed and killed by a close ally. Paulie Castellano was killed by John Gotti's crew, while Salvatore Leone is killed by Claude.)

Asuka Kasen: Fumiko Taoka (The only female Yakuza boss, and both Fumiko and Asuka were known to be very violent. The difference was that Fumiko learned violence from her husband and his associates and used it to show her power to the mostly male Yakuza members. However, Asuka is implied to be a sociopath, sadist, and possibly a sexual pervert who gets off on violence.)

Kenji Kasen: Kazuo Taoka (A weaker Yakuza boss, and is killed very violently. Also bears a strong connection to Asuka, who is based off of Fumiko Taoka. However, Kenji and Asuka are siblings rather than spouses.)

Ricardo Diaz: Pablo Escobar (Both were rude, crude, and extremely angry and violent. Both were leaders of Colombian drug cartels and used violent shock tactics such as chainsaw torture and kidnapping. Both lived in massive, luxurious mansions. And both were gunned down.)

Sonny Forelli: John Gotti (Both were steeped in the drug trade and wanted to get involved into it as soon as possible. Both also invested into Miami rackets.)

Ryder: Easy-E (While being more famous as a rapper, Easy-E was a notorious gangbanger in the Crips before becoming a rapper. While the GSF more closely resemble the Bloods, do note that Ryder later works for the Ballas, who are based off of the Crips, and physically, Ryder bears a strong resemblance to Easy-E.)

Wu Zi Mu: Raymond Chong (Both were powerful Chinese criminals in San Francisco. Woozie is called "Mole" for being blind, while Ray Chong was called "Shrimp Boy" for being very short. Both were invested in gambling as well. However, Raymond Chong didn't open up a casino in Vegas, he was alleged to have been behind several betting parlors and illegal race tracks in San Francisco.)

  • DoubleOGJohnson


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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:06 PM Edited by DoubleOGJohnson, 26 January 2011 - 02:20 PM.

Grove Street is Piru/Blood, because "Piru" is a street in Compton that the Pirus got they name from. What else do you call blood? You call blood your family. Your family is your Blood. So it's Grove Street Family. Blood is family and your fam is Blood. Get it? Your mom, your kids, yours cousins, etc are your flesh and blood, so they're your family. Family is blood, that's why Grove Street call eachother "Relatives" too. "What up Relative?" "What's cracking Relative?" Relative is another Grove Street slogan. And what are your Relatives? Your relatives are also your blood. Get it? Everything Grove Street does is subliminally blood, but most people wont catch it. The only thing they do like Crips is say, "Locc".

Bustas are based on Crips, but all Bustas arent based off of Grape Street. Kilo Tray Ballas are Eight Tray Gangster Crips, Front Yard Ballas are Rollin 60's Neighborhood Crips because "Front Yard" is a parody of "Neighborhood", Rollin Heights Ballas are Rollin 30's Crips, and Temple Drive Ballas are Grape Street Crips. So all Busta sets are not based off Grape Street Crips. Kilo Gays, Fronthards, Rollin Hoes, and Nipple Drives are all based off of different Crip set. The only thing that all Bustas have in common with Grape Street is purple and that's only cuz GTA didnt wanna use the real gang colors (red & blue).

  • natetherussian423

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:13 AM

What some of you guys fail to know about gangs is the word "set-tripping" the gsf and the ballas could be both crip sets that are set-tripping. In my opinion the GSF is based off the Gardenia Shotgun crips and the ballas are based off the Grape Street Watts crips. This is just my opinion and i know alot about gangs being surrounded by them my whole life. 

  • Osric

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 06:58 AM

Fair point, that is something I never considered before, as set tripping is common among the Bloods and Crips, so it could be the Ballas and GSF draw from both Bloods and Crips and various sets within the two gangs.

  • wiizardii


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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:25 AM

how did this thread comeback?

  • universetwisters


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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:02 PM

Trailer Park Gang: Aryan Brotherhood (They're all racist rednecks who use the Confederate and Nazi flags as symbols)


Did the trailer park gang really use Nazi flags as their symbols? I'm thinking you're either making that up or mistaking them for that White Stallionz gang, and even then they just did a parody of a Nazi Flag.

  • Osric

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:40 AM


Trailer Park Gang: Aryan Brotherhood (They're all racist rednecks who use the Confederate and Nazi flags as symbols)


Did the trailer park gang really use Nazi flags as their symbols? I'm thinking you're either making that up or mistaking them for that White Stallionz gang, and even then they just did a parody of a Nazi Flag.



You're right, that was my mistake, it was the White Stallionz. I haven't played VCS in a very long time and I had to double-check on the wiki.

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