Grand Theft Auto IV: London Theme
The game opens with the dark eyes of Raymond Caine moving slowly across the screen, looking left, looking right before finally deciding to fixate on you – the player. Sound kicks in –- the thud of bass as Caine regains his senses. We hear gunshots, methodical executions; two in the head, make sure they’re dead; tyres rumble away down a beaten track. Amongst the chaos, Raymond Caine claws his way out of a shallow grave, throwing his body onto the ground above. His leather bomber is thick with blood and his left arm has very obviously been wounded by the impact of buckshot. Nonetheless, he brings himself to his feet. The face of Raymond Caine is twisted in fury and betrayal: he grunts a few words, proclaiming that he’s going to kill them – kill them all.
Caine marches through the morning countryside, the sun rising upon endless trees and fields –- he’s in the middle of nowhere. Pink Floyd’s “Dogs” echoes in the background. Ray’s left arm is limp at his side and he soldiers on with his weight on the right, his shoulders forward giving him the walk of a scud missile. He comes to a gate and suddenly stops, watching a Vagabond Offender pass by and stop in a field: a backwater farmer gets out; he’s got a flat cap and shotgun. Ray’s eyes are aflicker with opportunity; he’s weighing up stealing the 4x4 and driving to a doctor or kidnapping the farmer and forcing him to lead him to help. He settles on the latter.
The farmer spots the shadow of Caine thundering towards him in the morning sun, does a double take on the blood and in his best authoritative voice, warns him off his land or he will call the police. The shotgun in his hands feels reassuring. But Caine keeps marching towards him. He warns him again, his voice crackling this time. Still Ray marches. The farmer lifts up the shotgun and fires into the air –- but it’s too little too late. Ray’s shoulders lower and his head drops: he ploughs into the Farmer’s torso, sending him and the shotgun sprawling. A savage stomping follows, Ray taking possession of the weapon. At gunpoint, he learns the farmer has an animal nurse working on his farm. He orders the farmer to drive him there.
Raymond Caine is sitting on a haystack inside of a barn, his left arm bandaged and being fixed up by the veterinary nurse: the farmer’s henpecked housewife. She’s clearly not used to all this excitement and is somewhat fascinated by Raymond, even if sh*t scared of him. With the shotgun to his right and a cigarette hanging from his lips, Ray is looking quite content: not at all pained. There’s even a grin spread across his mouth. We find out the farmer has become his source of amusement: beaten, bound & gagged and with a big mark across his forehead where Ray has used his head to open every door in the farmhouse, he’s tied up in the corner like a dog and forced to watch Ray and his wife become very friendly. Cruelly, he’s emasculating him. When patched up to his satisfaction, Ray asks to be shown to the telephone.
The first call Ray places is to Alan Fitzgerald, his contact back in London. Fitzgerald is the yellow pages of the London underworld; Ray is sniffing for leads. He explains what happened, a failed heroin deal; the selling party –- an emerging foreign outfit – caught wise that Ray’s employer is slipping and is out of his depth in the drug market and simply decided to take the cash and keep the merch. “All in the game,” says Caine. "I'm gonna off 'em, one by one." Alan doesn’t doubt it: he’s known Ray too long. He explains that Diamond – Ray’s employer – is furious and making noise all over town about the f*ckup, especially as the guys behind the raid were celebrating last night in his pub. Diamond has warned them they’re all on borrowed time and he wants Ray back in London as soon as to kill them all, but Ray is unenthusiastic about Diamond. Finally, he acquires the number of a local armorer so that he can get tooled up.
Before making a second call, Ray is called into the kitchen by the wife: she’s made him a lovely, greasy fry-up. Ray’s delighted. While he eats, the farmer shivers and starves in the barn. He furthers the humiliation by taking the afternoon to give her a good seeing to, and Raymond will spawn outside the bedroom with a sleazy grin and full bar of health. He proceeds to telephone the armorer, Mad Mickey. Mickey will soup up the shotgun so that it’s fit for “hunting vermin.” “When’ll you be by?” he asks. “Tomorrow,” Ray answers. “Gotta lose a bit of baggage.”
The mission begins the following day with a close-up of the farmer, being shadowed by Caine in the doorway. He’s shivering cold, red-eyed from lack of sleep and sobbing, covered in urine. Raymond Caine has turned him into this sorry mess; again he’s turned to sh*t by that knowing look and predatory smile. The wife soon joins them, now more affectionate towards Ray. She strokes the barrel of the shotgun whilst sharing a look of pity at her husband, disregarding their loveless marriage for good. Her nostrils twitch, “What’s that smell?” “He’s done himself a mischief in the night,” taunts Ray. “No time to clean up. We’re shippin’ out.” While the wife holds the farmer’s own gun on him, Ray frees the restraints on his feet for him to walk. Weak, he lags behind. “Oi. Slide.” Ray points and commands, and shoves him into the dog cage in the back of the vehicle. “Get in the f*ckin’ motor.” He briefly returns to the barn, snatches something from the vet bag, and then drives to the destination.
The location will be recognized as the game start –- an abandoned structure not unlike the farmhouse. To the rear, corpses are littered amongst dried blood and leaves: some are Diamond’s associates, others goons Ray took down with him. The Offender approaches from the front and settles out of sight from the road. Taking the keys and ordering the wife to stay put, Ray feigns a slight with the farmer and orders him out of the 4x4, shoving him up the path and into the building. It’s quiet and they are alone: Ray reaches for his trousers.
They are interrupted by moans; the cries of an injured man. Ray investigates to discover a wounded associate that has crawled into the building, looking for “the gear.” He pleads with Ray for help.
“You got a problem with what I’ve just done?”
“Don’t you f*ckin’ look at me,” he spits venom at the gawping farmer, treating him like a child. “Face away.” he shoves him into a corner, “Get in the naughty corner. Count to ‘undred.”
The farmer begins to bumble his way to one hundred. Ray again reaches into his pocket. This time, he produces a scalpel lifted from the vet bag.
With little more than a sad whimper from him, he cuts the farmer’s throat.
He gargles. Ray’s boot's on the back of his neck while he sparks up a cigarette. Casually, he flicks the blood from the scalpel and wipes it down on the farmer’s shirt. He carries about his business with no concern at all, stepping over the bodies to uncover a black Vagabond Hunter. We learn this is Ray’s car. Get inside. Beneath a cream leather seat, Ray fishes out a transponder, rigged to the money. A tutorial explains its use: every time the item is equipped, the distance between Ray and the cash will become known to the player by way of the vehicle’s car phone beeping. The more frequent the beeps: the closer the money is. Currently, the phone beeps once and then falls completely silent.
Ray accelerates fast out of the barn, the weak wooden door rolling off of the Hunter. He pulls alongside the Offender and calls the wife into his car, “Get in.” She offers little resistance, too enamored by the luxury vehicle. She’s so wrapped up in the ride they are half way down the road before she asks where her husband is. “He ain’t comin’,” he brushes off. He avoids further questions by demanding she fellates him.
Ray will bring the car to a stop far into the B-roads, out where cars and buses are few and the countryside rolls on for miles. The wife will giggle, but Ray is silent. The graveness of the situation suddenly hits the woman and excitement turns to fear. Ray pulls the scalpel from his pocket.
At knife-point, he promptly relieves her of money and backhands her when she gives him lip. Her purpose served, he tosses her from the car and into the sopping wet gutter. She sobs into the leaves as Ray continues on.
Mad Mickey’s house is a small cottage out in the sticks, obscured behind a huge bush and facing away from the countryside rail tracks. Ray will park down the path and walk along a gravel driveway, the farmer’s shotgun over his shoulder. At first there’s not a trace of the gun dealer; he’s rumoured to be ex-SAS once active in desert operations during the 70s and his claim to fame is being televised during a siege on the US embassy in London, where angry Australian activists took hostages and were promptly executed in the SAS operation that followed.
Out of nowhere, Mickey falls into Ray’s step and appears behind him, a Browning Pistol cocked and to the back of his head. He’s in a Balaclava and full army outfit, and relieves Ray of the shotgun with startling precision. Giggling, he caresses the weapon as if it were a beautiful woman and rounds off every detail of the shotgun with obsessive fascination. “You failed to maintain this weapon, sunshine,” he chuckles. “I’d dispatch you, go inside and sleep like a tot,” he whispers, deadly serious. “Moochin’ around. Figured you for ‘Bill, not one of the chaps.” He removes his balaclava, stuffs the pistol in his trousers and continues admiring the shotgun. “Fitzgerald phone ahead –- tread with me Raymond.”
Ray will hike with Mickey through the woods, sharing stories and comparing battle scars. Occasionally he’ll stop to blast a rabbit with the Browning and ambush dogwalkers, stalking them as if they were the enemy. “I f*ckin’ hate dogsh*t. Saw enough camel sh*t in Egypt to last me a lifetime,” he’ll moan, but say nothing of his blisters.
Eventually, the two will come upon a weathered, lonesome old home, the only one for what seems miles. Covered in moss and weeds, its distinguishing feature is a well-structured roof lined with copper. Several cats crawl in the guttering –- Mickey eyes them with disgust.
He points out the copper on the roof and informs Ray it would be perfect to lift as the basis for a silencer. While he climbs up the roof on an unattended ladder to steal it, Ray is instructed to watch his back. He warns him of the crazy cat man, and lets slip that he intended to visit him anyway; word about town is the old man came into some money from his thug son.
Keep your eyes open while Mickey fills his rucksack with stolen copper, shoving roaming cats off the roof only for them to climb up again along the drainpipe. Eventually, the cat man will appear in the doorway screaming obscenities. Mickey barks at him to f*ck off, and at the sight of Ray will retreat into the house. He soon returns –- announcing that he has telephoned his son. He will then make a charge at the ladder, shaking it in an attempt to get Mickey to fall. Follow the prompts to shove cat man back into the house and knock him down. Mickey will climb down the ladder, enter the house and stab him to death. As a car pulls up outside, Mickey stalks off to investigate while instructing Ray to find the stash of money.
Turn the house upside down in search of the money and eventually you will find a suitcase in the fridge, kept on ice between rows of tinned cat food. As a gunshot rings out, Ray pockets some of the cash and heads out to Mickey on the way in: he’s executed the son. His keen eye for guns will pick up on an old, obscure WW-II era Welrod Pistol on top of a phonebook. Ray is now armed.
Outside, cat man’s son is limp in the seat of his Vapid Intruder bleeding out of the driver’s side. The row of cats cast judgement from the rooftop. “They’ll not find out for days,” assures Mickey, confidently. “And even then –- local rags & tea time news at best. Every sob story with a license goes on a spree in the sticks now’days.”
“Fancy a little target practise, Raymond?”
With Mickey, you will now play through the weapon tutorial.
Aim for the cats. Beat Mickey’s score. He’ll wager money whether you win or lose. You will then be schooled on free/fine aim.
“Blow that fat mess out of his seat.”
Use free/fine aim to target the strap of the seatbelt that is holding the son’s corpse in the driver’s seat. Fire and split the belt; the body will topple from the car and the bullet blow out the back window.
“Right. Let’s f*ck off.”
With the option of stealing the car, trek back to Mickey’s cottage to complete the mission. He will take 24 hours to complete the silencer, but will labor lovingly on the shotgun until it is finished.
+ Mad Mickey -- CONTACT
+ Welrod Pistol
- 4): Ray uses the transponder to locate the stolen money and retrieves weaponry from Mickey.
- 5): Using the Silenced Shotgun assembled by Mickey, Ray retrieves the money and drugs, ambushing and killing his prey.
- Act Two.