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Early Side-Missions In Locked-Off Areas


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Early Side-Missions In Locked-Off Areas


A Beginner's Guide to 4 Wanted Stars (incl. videos)



Updated on July 29th 2008. New bits are yellow.







0. Collection Of Links & Resources


1. Introduction

.. .. .. 1.1. First Things First

.. .. .. 1.2. What This Is

.. .. .. 1.3. What This Isn't

.. .. .. 1.4. Sources


2. Preparations


3. Getting There

.. .. .. 3.1. Enter LV / Flying Outside The Map

.. .. .. 3.2. Enter SF / Mission Triggers (a)

.. .. .. 3.3. Mission Triggers (b)

.. .. .. 3.4. Enter Without Flying


4. Getting Back


5. Surviving There / General Tips

.. .. .. 5.1. Various

.. .. .. 5.2. Driving

.. .. .. 5.3. Vehicle Swapping

.. .. .. 5.4. Armour, Health and Indoor Locations

.. .. .. 5.5. Flying

.. .. .. 5.6. Boats


6. Tips For Specific Side-Missions

.. .. .. 6.1. Collectibles

.. .. .. 6.2. NRG Challenge

.. .. .. 6.3. Stadium Events (50% bike skill for LV races)

.. .. .. 6.4. Courier Missions

.. .. .. 6.5. Chiliad Challenge (from 7:00 to 18:00 / 40% cycling skill)

.. .. .. 6.6. Gym Trainers (after 'Drive-Thru' / 25% muscle)

.. .. .. 6.7. Schools (after 'Deconstruction')

.. .. .. 6.8. Weapons / Miniguns

.. .. .. 6.9. Girlfriends

.. .. .. 6.10. The Unnecessary and The Impossible

.. .. .. 6.11. The Elite Of San Andreas


7. Thanks



Edited by rubregg
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0. Collection Of Links & Resources



All the referenced goodies for your viewing pleasure, together in one neat spot.




Advanced 4star Survival Guide over at gtplanet.net


My Videos: External Resources:

a non-flying entry into LV, no bike skill



flying directly to the mission trigger

at LV stadium


flying directly to the Burger Courier

mission trigger


the Burger Courier mission on 4 wanted stars


the full tour - flying to LV, doing a unique

jump out of the Emerald Isle, grabbing the

2 miniguns and pulling a Jetmax escape


the safe way to SF and that good bike


a rather adventurous run incl. missile

dodging in a Shamal and a 'direct' escape

via swimming to Sta. Maria Beach


via Jetmax from both SF and LV



Download all my videos

distinctly higher quality than on youtube

(512*384-avi-xvid-mp3 - 264MB)

Glenster's Guide

all you might possibly want to know about

the game


Stuckgamer's Video Guide

tutorial videos for most missions


quartet1977's video of Trucking Level 8

how to drive heavy vehicles on 4 wanted stars


crazyanurag's starter save

with all that 4star stuff done


GTAF Mission Guide


GTAF Mission Tips


gtasa4ever's SAMA tool

SA Mission Analyzer - tells you all you have

and haven't done yet. Most helpful for doing

collectibles or unique jumps.


SAM java map

the map for literally everything

on gtasanandreas.net


Ian Albert's high resolution maps

made from screenshots


Interactive maps with screenshots

for those hard-to-find collectibles

My Map

with all essentials discussed in this guide


The northern LS spraycan

for leet spraying, see chapter 6.11


Edited by rubregg
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1. Introduction



A few technicalities about this guide.




1.1. First Things First


This guide is dedicated to pdescobar. Writing a tutorial was initially his idea, while I was going to contribute the videos only, but unfortunately he sort of went awol months ago... (where are you mate?) ...So I finally decided to write this myself.


A big 'Hello' also to OrionSR - he published a related topic here. Check it out. In any case. But especially whenever anything in here seems too 'basic' or boring for you. More on this in a moment.




1.2. What This Is


GTA SA has many side-missions apart from the main storyline. At early stages of the game, a lot more of these are available than you might think - but to do them you'll have to enter territory that is still 'officially' locked-off by barriers and roadblocks. This is possible without cheating, but for as long as you're there, the game gives you a constant non-removable 4-star wanted level which you'll have to survive, and get rid of after making an escape back into safe terrain (i.e. Los Santos in most cases).


This guide is supposed to be a tutorial covering all that. You will learn how to enter locked-off territory, survive the 4-star wanted level and get back home safely. You'll also get an overview of the things you can do 'early' and some tips on how to do (and survive) them. It is intended to be an introduction rather than a complete treatment of the subject matter since there's far more ways in and out, and things to do, than could possibly be described in here. You will, however, get the general idea of how to survive adventures on 4 wanted stars - and hopefully be inspired to come up with your own.


As it is, pdescobar and yours-truly were not the only people who came up with the idea of a guide like this. While working on this a similar topic by OrionSR appeared at gtplanet. In order to avoid too much subconscious copying I only had a glance at this as long as my guide was still in the making. It looked as if the focus there is more on stunting and on the advanced adventures on 4 wanted stars (check out OrionSR's brilliant videos!) so I decided to approach my guide from the 'Tutorial' / 'Overview' point of view instead and to put my focus mainly on the basics. I very much hope that OrionSR's guide and my guide will turn out sort of complementary to each other.


This is explicitly A Beginner's Guide to locked-off territory. It contains some tricks that may be well-known to advanced players, but hopefully also some new stuff for everyone. I tried to write and structure it in a way that makes the different chapters accessible by themselves, so some bits of information may appear more than once. In order to avoid too much of this, there'll be lots of cross-references; due to restrictions in bbcode, the links in cross-references can only point to the main chapters though. Please use the 'Find' function of your application (ctrl+f is a common shortcut) from there. Cross-references without links refer to the same main chapter, below your current position.


The Map I made for this guide only contains some of the essentials discussed in here and I tried to keep it simple. If you 'need more', have a look at the map OrionSR made - it's linked in his topic.


Abbreviations will be used for the game's main areas (LS, SF and LV) and sometimes for directions (NW for north-west etc...).




1.3. What This Isn't


This is neither a guide on how to actually do the side-missions, nor a guide on vehicle, weapon, health or armour spawns. Although some locations will be explained, the focus will always be on issues directly related to the locked-off territory situation. Mostly, also on safety. For everything else please consult your usual resources, you'll find some useful links in chapter 0.


This is not a cheat guide either. Although there'll be quite a bit of trickery, no cheats will be involved and following this guide will keep the cheat count in your stats clean.




1.4. Sources


This guide is a stew with countless ingredients. Some have become common knowledge in the GTA Community, some have been brought to me by kind souls, some come from other guides and some I even found out myself. Providing exact sources for every little detail in here is beyond me, but I'll try to sum up the most important ones. Please let me know if you think I'm missing something important here. I certainly do not want to claim false credit for myself; so 'if in doubt', it probably has been found out by someone else before me - I am mainly doing the compilation.


  • As mentioned, this project was initiated by pdescobar. Although it grew in the making, a lot of it is still based on pdescobar's original input.
  • OrionSR provides loads of info and way-cool videos in his fantastic guide. To name just one prominent example, all credits for the stuff about the AT-400 go to OrionSR. ...and to JAJ for telling me about it.
  • OrionSR has informed me that he would like to pass some of his credits on to GTA Phreak, notably that just mentioned AT-400.
  • The NRG jump into LV was shown to me by Kusak.
  • Tons of factual info come from Glenster's Guide and the links he provides in there.
  • Additional information on the specific requirements for some side-missions I found in these links: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
  • All knowledge gained by the resources given in chapter 0 is credited to the according authors. Same for all the linked stuff.
  • All my own experience comes from playing the PC V1 version (sometimes with V2 scripts) of the game. Sometimes I played a slightly modded (added vehicles & weapons) version in the Chain Games hosted by JAJ (usually pinned topics in GTAF's 'Mission Help'). All my own videos were made with mouse & keyboard control (standard keys) using unmodded games, without any cheats or trainers. They are all real-time too, apart from very few obvious scenes. Credits to the music used in the videos go to the bands named in their end-credits; if you like it, buy the CDs. I have... All sound editing was done by yours-truly, as was all artwork connected to this guide. One exception: the 'Jason / chainsaw / inferno' screenshot used in the title graphics was provided by Kusak.


Edited by rubregg
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2. Preparations



A few things to consider before you go:


Do 'Burglary', 'Vigilante', 'Paramedic' and 'Firefighter'. Infinite sprint, extra armour, extra health and fire resistance *really* help your survival.


The higher your bike stat the better - bikes are the safest means of transportation in locked off territories and you don't want to fall off.


You can safely jump out of planes without a parachute if you're flying low enough above the ground (or the roof you want to land on). While bailing is much more fun, parachuting is probably safer, so grab a parachute from the Los Santos downtown skyscraper (the highest one, enter it from the north-east to get to the roof - see map ).


Molotovs are a good way (my personal favourite) to kill a crowd of foot cops in one go so you may want to take a few of those. Not that important, because you should generally try to avoid cops or fights with them.


Enter LS Airport via the roof of the guard's lodge (park a vehicle there and jump onto its roof to get high enough; walk towards the gate from the inside to open it so you can get your vehicle through), grab that Shamal and off you go.


Keep the Taxi and Toreno Glitches in mind and don't fly too much too early in the game. To avoid these, do not acquire a pilot's licence (20% flying skill) before doing the 'Taxi' mission and the SF mission 'Mike Toreno'; and do 'Taxi' before both 'Firefighter' and 'Paramedic'. Otherwise you might not find any taxi fares and/or Mike Toreno's transmitter signal which could prevent you from 100% completion. More about this in Glenster's Guide, chapter I.12.a. Update: zmoonchild reports these glitches only happen when you fly too far outside the map. Here's the posting with more information. Credits to pdescobar for clearing it up.


Especially if you're new to the topic, be prepared to die a lot. It does take a bit of practice but after a while you'll get used to the constant 4-star wanted level - so don't give up too soon, you'll get the hang of it eventually.


Also, the newer you are to the thing the more helpful it is to think about your entry and exit strategies *before you go*. The next two chapters will give you a few ideas on those.


Have a look at the map with the routes and some essential items featured in this guide.



Edited by rubregg
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3. Getting There



How to get into locked-off territory and survive.


As mentioned above, there's quite a lot of ways to get there and back again so here the focus will be on safety rather than adventure. With the exception of chapter 3.4., all routes discussed here imply flying there and parachuting to target.




3.1. Enter LV / Flying Outside The Map


Safe entry points are usually areas where you can pick up a vehicle while being protected from cops (helicopters, vehicles and foot cops):


In LV, the parking garage at the Emerald Isle is an excellent example (route A on the map - featured in the

). You can fly over the ocean east of LV without triggering the wanted stars - they only appear when you enter LV airspace so until then no police hydras will spawn. Sometimes you'll make it to the garage without meeting a police plane, sometimes you'll just reach the garage before missile impact and sometimes you'll have to dodge missiles. Missile dodging is featured in the
and explained in chapter 5.5, together with a lot more on flying in general.


Update - Emerald Isle Spawning Trick: If you don't find a bike or a good vehicle at the Emerald Isle, there is a spot on the roof outside level 4 where you can unspawn the vehicles inside and spawn a new set by simply going back and forth a few feet. Repeat until you find what you're looking for; works while on foot or in a vehicle.


Not all parking garages will have vehicles spawning in them - the Emerals Isle always does, but most of them will be just empty. Feel free to explore...


Bear in mind that the last vehicle(s) you drove before you flew over affect the classes of vehicles that will spawn at your destination. It's just the general vehicle spawning behaviour of the game but since this is an introduction, I'll give one example from my various trips to the Emerald Isle: whenever I flew there after riding an NRG-500 to LS airport, no bikes would spawn in the parking garage. Riding to LS airport on a BF-400 or PCJ-600 massively increased the chances of the same bikes spawning in the garage. I'm mentioning this here explicitly because bikes are possibly the best means of transport in locked off areas, but more on this in chapter 5.


It is possible to use a similar approach (flying over the ocean, outside the map) to get to SF or Mt. Chiliad. In fact, it is possible to fly all around the complete map without triggering the wanted stars, but especially along the northern and western coasts you will have to stay rather far away from the shore and orientate yourself by radar, map and mouselook. Because of that distance to the coast I never made it to Mt. Chiliad without missile dodging though so I wouldn't recommend this as an altogether safe approach and you might just as well take the direct route (read more on Mt. Chiliad in chapter 6.5). Flying to SF like this is not encouraged because the way is far too long and as mentioned in chapter 2 (Taxi/Toreno Glitch) you should try not to fly too much. As you'll see in the next chapter, there's a much better way of flying to SF.




3.2. Enter SF / Mission Triggers (a)


Mission Triggers are another type of safe entry point:


My preferred way into SF is parachuting to the 'NRG Challenge' trigger (route D on the map). You won't be completely protected from the police like in the example above. Still, the roof protects you from the choppers, generally the police can't handle the bowl very well, you have a pretty good bike spawning there and it's also a trigger for a submission. If you care about your failed missions stats I recommend you do the 'NRG Challenge' first time around - once passed you can come back anytime to just pick up an NRG-500 and drive away (failing the mission) without that affecting your stats. You can see it all in

. If you want the bike without triggering the mission, push it away a few yards before entering it.




3.3. Mission Triggers (b)


Not all Mission Triggers are equally safe though:


The triggers for the 'Stadium Events' are fairly safe because there won't be cops during the race and you'll have a vehicle when you come out - provided you win the race of course. The route to LV Stadium (route B on the map) is featured in

including a close shave escape from one of those missiles... I'll leave it up to you to fly to SF Stadium (which is one of the safer places on the 4-star-map and will be featured in chapter 5.4. For more on the 'Stadium Events' see chapter 6.3.


The triggers for the 'Courier' missions are also quite alright because you'll get a bike with each mission. However there's not too much protection from the police around. See

for the direct approach to the LV Burger Shot 'Courier' mission (route C on the map).
features the 'Courier' mission itself and was captured in the same go as the approach (cut 'cos of youtube's 10-minute-restriction). As for the direct route to the SF Hippy Shopper 'Courier' mission, I'll once again leave that up to you... See chapter 6.4. for more on the 'Courier' missions themselves.


Of course you can also approach the LV Burger Shot in a similar fashion to route A, just as well as you can approach LV Stadium by first following route C and then cutting westwards over the airport, etc, etc... It's a good thing to hug the ground when flying and I like to use the LV freeways and The Strip for that, but read more on flying in chapter 5.5.


Going directly to the gyms is not recommended. There won't be any police inside the gyms but once you come out there'll be lots, and you won't have an escape vehicle.


As for Mt. Chiliad and the 'Chiliad Challenge', that's kind of a special case and there isn't really any completely safe way there. Read about it in chapter 6.5. and/or watch





3.4. Enter Without Flying


Here are a few examples of entry points that don't involve flying:


You can get into SF via the unique jump into SF airport. Grab an NRG for this one (see next paragraph) and follow it by exiting the airport via another unique jump for a spectacular beginning to an SF adventure.


There's a way to jump into LV with an NRG-500 as shown in

. This jump doesn't require any bike skill, I did the video with a new game. The video also shows you where to actually find an NRG in Los Santos.


Update: You can jump into SF at Fallen Tree (don't speed up too early) and Flint Intersection (stay on the right side of the bridge); you don't need an NRG for these, they can be done with other bikes as well. I think even with fast cars. Thanks to OrionSR for bringing these jumps up, he features them in his videos too: Panopticon Playground and In Like Flint. They became prominent in the Skipping Palomino Rally for which I made this map (they are nos. 21 & 25; have a look if you're into creek jumping).


You can walk or ride a bike across the Panopticon Bridge. GTA Phreak brought this up and it can be seen in OrionSR's Panopticon Playground video.


The advanced cyclist may want to try out hopping over on top of the railings of some of the bridges [update] or even mega-hop onto some of the barriers. Do a mega-hop by firing an SMG shortly after releasing the bunny-hop button to gain a lot of extra height. Timing is a bit tricky and it'll take a bit of practice and a few tries. There's some discussion on mega-hops further down in this topic.


Finally, you may walk over some bridge railings or just simply swim over and jack a vehicle once you're there, although for beginners this is probably not the recommended way to start.



Edited by rubregg
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4. Getting Back


How to escape back to safe territory and lose the heat.



Again, there's tons of ways back. As for safety I prefer the Jetmax to return from both SF and LV, see routes 1 & 2 on the map and in

(for more on boats see chapter 5.6). If you're following the route to The Johnsohn House, it's highly recommended you cut through the stadium area as in the video and on the map. This will let you get safely past the road block that often appears W of the stadium. Once through the drainage ditch you can just as well exit your vehicle and run to CJ's house through the backyards - the armour under the bridge should offer enough protection from the foot cops you'll meet in Grove Street.


There's an armour pickup right next to the LV jetmax - I forgot to feature it in the just mentioned video but I'm grabbing it at the end of the

, and I put it into the map.


In both SF and LV it's considered safer to exit your vehicle 'upstairs' and run down the stairs to the Jetmax pier on foot. If you drive down, an all-too eager cop car might try to follow you, tip onto its roof, slide all the way to the Jetmax and blow it up, leaving you without an escape vehicle. For the same reason you shouldn't shoot down choppers near a boat you want to use for an escape.


Just as with bikes at the Emerald Isle (see chapter 3.1.) there's a spawning issue with the LV jetmax - i.e. sometimes it just won't spawn. If that's the case, go a few blocks away, change your vehicle and try again. It happened a lot to me when I was on an FCR-900, in a racing car or in the Dune you get from Kickstart. My own rule of thumb - the crappier your own vehicle, the higher the spawning probability of the LV jetmax. I don't really know if it's the same with the SF jetmax - that one always spawned for me, but I might have been just lucky.


Once back at an LS safe house, just change your clothes to lose your wanted stars. If you don't have a change of clothes yet, undress and redress. Alternatively and possibly slightly more dangerous, you can also lose your wanted stars with the LS sprayshops or bribes.


If you're far enough in the storyline to own the Palomino Creek safe house, that'll be a quick Jetmax trip to safety from LV. You'll figure out a route. Depending on your health and armour, you might even make it swimmingly.


If you do not commit any crimes while in locked-off territory, your wanted stars might quickly go back to three all by themselves once you left the locked area. Either way, here's a fun practice mission: lose all your wanted stars by bribes only.

Spoiler: OrionSR does this at the end of his "Sandking of San Andreas" video. It's on h**p://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-2961395323201507972 and I can't seem to find out how to put proper links into those sodding spoiler tags ...lol...


Update: Another great example is the GTA Phreak's video "Bribe Skimming" on h**p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi-rZa2-qOs


Update: The SF early access jump at Flint Intersection (see chapter 3.4.) can be done backwards as well but you need a lot of speed. It works with fast bikes and fast cars. Aim slightly to the left of the prominent tree.


The Panopticon Bridge can also be crossed backwards on foot or by bike, see chapter 3.4.


From LV you can use the freeway bridge to LS to get back, it has only got a barrier on the LS side. Go to the barrier and jump or bunny-hop down over the railing onto LS ground. With a bit of practice you can even use the barrier to ride a bike over the railing. This also works with a Sandking with hydraulics and possibly with some other vehicles too, but there's a danger of landing on the roof. These last two points were brought to me by OrionSR, who has passed credits on to GTA Phreak.


Getting back from Mt. Chiliad - well that's a special case. Either use the Sanchez (near the finishing area of the races) back to the SF jetmax or try the direct route featured in

but more on the Chiliad Challenge in chapter 6.5.


From LV you can also fly back to LS. Enter LV Airport just as described for LS Airport in chapter 2, or use a ramp to jump over the southern fence which is a lot easier. This ramp is located at the NW corner of that big area (inside the walls) where trigger for the LV street races will appear later in the game and the jump will most likely have you banging into the southern wall of the Big Hangar (don't worry if you fall off your bike here, no cops will spawn inside southern LV Airport; if you need armour, get it inside one of the small western hangars, the one where the 'Freefall' mission starts). Enter the Big Hangar from the north (the gate will open *slowly*) and find an AT-400 inside it. This plane is rather huge but it will *not* get attacked by police Hydras which makes it the safest aircraft for locked-off territory (SAM sites will still fire at you though). There's also two Shamals at LV Airport. They *will* get attacked by police Hydras though so using them is more dangerous; see chapter 5.5. (especially the last paragraph) for a strategy to grab one of those. Make sure you picked up a (new) parachute if you can't land or bail too well.




Edited by rubregg
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5. Surviving There / General Tips



In this chapter, I'll give a few general tips for survival in locked-off areas. Apply at your convenience and according to the situation you're in.




5.1. Various


Before you've done the storyline mission 'Farewell My Love' your wanted level will not go higher than 4 wanted stars. So you can actually run your own private rampages, even in locked off territory, without your wanted level ever getting to anything higher than those 4 stars.


The garage in Doherty/SF can be used right from the beginning of the game, even if you don't officially own it yet. So feel free to nick a Patriot from Easter Basin Military Base on 4 rather than 5 wanted stars (and no chasing FBI Ranchers) and stash it in Doherty garage for the 'Exports' later in the game. You can also keep one or two bikes in there for a quick vehicle swap (see chapter 5.3).


Cop choppers will only fire at you when you've been in their searchlight for long enough. So if you have to flee from a chasing chopper, especially when you are on foot or swimming, go in zig-zags. That'll help you effectively to stay out of the searchlight and thus prevent you from being fired at.


Update: Shooting down choppers can be dangerous if they land and explode near you. If you want to anyway either use heavy weaponry like the minigun or the sniper trick Gray_Eagle reported: you can shoot down a chopper with just one sniper bullet if you aim for "where the spinny bit that spins the rotors meets the roof".


Still, being on foot is generally a bad idea. Foot cops spawn by the dozen, you can get run over by cars, etc... So if you end up on foot, run for your life and a vehicle, in this order. If you're on foot and are fireproof and brought molotovs, now's the time to use them...




5.2. Driving


Bikes are probably the best means of transport. Vehicles in general protect you from bullets and too many foot cops, but on a bike you are way more mobile than in a car. Speaking of mobility, maybe the Freeway shouldn't be your first choice of bike.


If you still want a car you might want to go for the big & heavy variety (Firetruck, Dune, ...). Find a little insight on how to drive those on 4 wanted stars in quartet1977's video of the 'Trucking' mission level 8. Territory's not restricted there, but 4 wanted stars are still on.


Try never to fall off your bike (see 'being on foot' in chapter 5.1.). Driving slowly helps incredibly with that. Yes. The faster you drive, the higher the speed of the spawning cop cars that try to hit you and hence the higher the chances that you fall off in case they succeed. Try to find a speed that is just fast enough to stay away from foot cops and the chasing cop cars you're dodging. Doing the LV 'Courier' mission on the little Faggio will give you an idea of what I'm talking about,



If impact cannot be avoided, slow down as much as possible before you are hit and try not to get hit in a full-frontal manner. This will lessen the damage your vehicle takes, and if you're on a bike it'll help to avoid getting knocked off.


Always bear in mind that the chasing cops are but computer bots following certain patterns. Try to learn about those patterns and use them against them. For example, on some crossroads there'll always be cop cars spawning on a straight 90 degree collision course to you. Keep in mind which crossings those are and learn how to brake at the right moment.


Learn how to lose chasing cops at road signs, trees, poles or by changing the side of the road you're driving on (especially on the LV Strip). On freeways you might want to drive just left of the wrong side of the road altogether.


Use railtracks, sidewalks and off-road ways, turn around corners often, be careful at crossings. Preferably turn around corners on the inside pavement, thus avoiding cop vehicles on a 90 degree collision course. Also you might lose chasing cops at traffic poles this way.


Unique stunt jumps might help to escape chasing cops. crazyanurag reports that they usually land you in a cop-free area, giving you that bit of extra time to speed off and avoid 'The Man'.


The longer you stay in one specific area, the more road blocks will appear (they're especially nasty in some areas of SF). So never hang around the same area for too long.


Obviously, try to avoid road blocks as best as you can.


Update: Bicycles, especially the Mountain Bike, are actually quite good vehicles too for 4star territory, once you've got the hang of it. A big advantage is that they don't take any damage from bullets and even protect CJ from gunfire. On a bicycle, CJ won't take any hits at all from firing police choppers. Foot cops still get the occasional hit in, but it's nowhere near as harmful as when CJ is on foot. Also, you can pull nice escapes from chasing cops with bunny-hops or even mega-hops (as described in chapter 3.4). Try mega-hopping onto roofs for protection from the cops, it's fun. In LV you'll find a Mountain Bike outside the Creek save house. In SF there's one on the N side of the building on the pier just W of Gant Bridge and in Angel Pine there's one at the bottom of Mt. Chiliad next to the finish of the Chiliad Challenge.




5.3. Vehicle Swapping


If your vehicle is getting damaged, go early to a spot where you can safely and/or quickly swap vehicles. In LV I prefer the Emerald Isle parking garage (see chapter 3.1.), in SF I usually grab a new NRG-500 from the 'NRG Challenge' trigger at SF Docks (see chaper 3.2.). For many more vehicle spawning points please consult the usual map resources given in chapter 0. Depending on how much you care about your 'no. of resprays' stat it may also help to know your spray shop locations. They'll fix your vehicle but of course your wanted stars will stay.


Keep the game's vehicle-spawning behaviour in mind. If you're on a bike (non-NRG) and want to get a new one of the same type, say at the Emerald Isle, go there on your old bike. If you can't make that, do not get into a different class of vehicle more than once. Try to run if you have to. This way you'll have a much bigger chance that the bike you're after will spawn at the garage.


If you're forced to swap vehicles somewhere in the open, try to get a parked vehicle. If you're jacking a driving car, the animation usually takes long enough for the shooting cops to destroy the vehicle. When jacking a driving car, your chances are increased if you do so from the passenger side - sometimes the driver will start speeding away from the shooting cops during the jacking animation.


If you're in SF, you can keep some extra bikes in Doherty Garage (see chapter 5.1.) and swap your vehicle in there (the garage will 'repair' your old one). I'd suggest stashing an NRG-500, grab one at the NRG Challenge mission trigger (see chapter 3.2.).




5.4. Armour, Health and Indoor Locations


Always keep an eye on your health and armour stats and memorize according pickup points (see the resources given in chapter 0). It's generally easier to refresh armour than health (see below) so you might want to keep your health stat maxed at all times.


The best place in SF to get health is SF Stadium - the police can't handle the area well at all (I encourage you to explore this yourself, it is kind of funny to watch), no foot cops are spawning and the stadium roof protects you from helicopters. I like to stand under the roof north of the stadium and watch the police cars fighting with that fence while I munch away replenishing my health...


In LV my preferred fast food stalls are on the car park S of the Royal Casino, between the sphinx and Caligula's. There are two of them and the building and the walls around the car park offer some protection from cop vehicles. A third stall is just around the corner to the north, but that one - just as the three near the minigun garage in N LV - is on fairly open ground.


Generally I prefer the fast food stalls (Chili Dogs etc.) for replenishing health because there's hardly any animation and you can re-enter your vehicle with hardly any interruptions. If you think about using an indoors health supply be aware that you'll be greeted by lots of foot cops as soon as you step outside. So you actually need two armour pickups if you're doing this - one you'll have to pick up before you go inside so it'll protect your newly gained health once you exit the building, and a second one after you made your escape from these foot cops.


You'll face this same danger exiting from any indoor location: loads of shooting foot cops waiting for you outside. So whenever you exit a building, some of your armour will get shot away - and possibly even your escape vehicle. Most of these foot cops will spawn near the building's entrance, so you might have a better chance of getting away if you leave your escape vehicle somewhere around the next corner and out of the reach of those foot cops' bullets.




5.5. Flying


Don't fly too much or you could run into the Taxi or Toreno Glitch (see chapter 2).


Although a few more are available, I'd really only recommend three aircrafts for locked-off territory: the Seasparrow, the Shamal and the AT-400. More details right below, but in summary: always hug the ground in a Seasparrow, in a Shamal either hug the ground or fly rather high so you can dodge missiles, and in an AT-400 fly as you like, it's the only aircraft that will not get attacked by police hydras (it's huge though). Planes are of course really only helpful if you want to cover long distances and/or can bail pretty well; for example, you could use an AT-400 to get to Mt. Chiliad from LV. For everything else, esp. the airborne 'Horseshoes', I'd recommend the Seasparrow.


As soon as you enter an aircraft - or locked-off territory while flying an aircraft - a police Hydra spawns and that Hydra will fire one or more heat-seaking missiles at you (appearing as little red markers on your radar). This might happen very quickly or only after a while and so far I haven't found out if there's any rule to that. What to do to avoid those missiles highly depends on your actual situation in the game and all in all, flying is generally rather unpredictable.


When flying the Shamal you can dodge most missiles by doing a sharp 360° turn. Be careful to fly high enough so you don't crash into any obstacles when doing this. Watch an example of this in the video to the



The second way of dealing with missiles is: make them hit something else. Do that by flying low and cutting sharp corners around any vertical obstacles (buildings, mountains, trees, etc...). A hint of 'N.O.E.'-style building-dodging, done in a Shamal, is featured in the

. Of course this strategy mainly holds for choppers and that is also the reason why I'm recommending the Seasparrow - just like with bikes it's the mobility rather than the speed that matters.


Police Hydras don't usually handle buildings or trees too well so sometimes they will crash, especially if you're following the above advice. Now this is a good thing because you just got rid of a chasing plane - but it is also a bad thing, because the result is the spawning of a new police Hydra which will soon fire new missiles at you. So you should really *always* keep an eye on your radar when flying...


Aircraft Locations - Have a look at the map for most of the ones described here. There's two Seasparrows in the desert which I use for some of the 'Oysters' and the 'Horseshoes' you can't get to without flying. One accessible Shamal is at LS Airport, two more are at LV Airport. The AT-400 is also at LV Airport, inside the big hangar to the south (see chapter 4.). At SF Airport there's only one Maverick helicopter you can use early in the game - sometimes I try to sneak up Mt. Chiliad with this one. Enter all airports similarly to the way described in chapter 2. for LS Airport, or use the odd jump to access SF Airport, or jump into LV Airport via the ramp described in chapter 4.). And finally here's my strategy for grabbing a Shamal at LV Airport (remember: there's 2 of them right next to each other): enter one of them, accelerate, exit as soon as you see missiles on your radar (most of the time you'll have to bail pretty quickly). Run to the second Shamal and take off safely. --> The idea is that you want to have a police hydra spawn and fire rockets. Those rockets will aim at your *first* Shamal and as long as that Hydra doesn't 'unspawn' (i.e. stay in sight) it won't re-fire. So accelerate the first Shamal just a bit to get it away from the second one, so the second one won't take damage from the explosion. This strategy is of course no guarantee, but it has worked a lot for me. The danger is of course that you might end up on foot, miles away from any useful vehicle and very much in the open in case both Shamals get blown to smithereens. If that happens you might want to grab the armour in the hangar where the 'Freefall' mission starts before you make your run for those airport gates. Or continue running to the south and grab the AT-400 (the southern part of LV airport is mainly cop-free). If you're lucky you might find parked vehicles outside the building in the SW part of the airport; these spawns are inconsistent though and might not appear (just as the Super GT underneath the tower at SF airport), especially if you are - or were last - in a plane.




5.6. Boats


The Jetmax is The Fastest Boat and the recommended one. It outraces police choppers and Predators (the coastguards' boats). So if you're on your way back to LS using the routes described in chapter 4., simply floor it because you won't run into too many shooting Predators along those routes.


There's one Jetmax in SF and one in LV, find them where routes 1 & 2 on the map begin. The one in LV even has some armour right next to it.


If you're doing 'Collectibles' or anything else that brings you near Predators, you might once again want to go slowly so using other boats might work just as well. Stop your boat as soon as the Predator spawns, hit the 'exit vehicle' key and snipe the cops on the Predator. Or, slightly cruder, greet them with your minigun, rocket launcher or assault rifle, according to your armament and personal taste.


In any case, be very careful not to have other vehicles explode near your own boat. Having your own boat explode could have disastrous consequences. Keep this in mind if you have a taste for blowing down police choppers.


If you're far away from boat spawn points and need a new boat, you can snipe some coastguards and then calmly jack their Predator. Using the Sniper will leave your new vehicle intact.



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6. Tips for specific Submissions



Most of these are available from the start of the game. All restrictions due to stats, time or storyline are given in the chapter headlines. The table at the end of chapter 6.11. gives an overview of all the things that can be done at the start of the game.


Unless otherwise noted, Glenster's Guide was used as a source for mission restrictions.




6.1. Collectibles


Generally, never stay in one area of town for too long. More road-blocks will appear and police choppers will catch up with you, so for doing collectibles it is actually recommended to zig-zag all across town. Start with small steps and don't try to do too many in one go. Just pick up a few, make your escape and save your game. Your runs will automatically get longer with the practice you're getting.



Oysters: Swimming into locked-off areas will not trigger a wanted level, as long as you don't touch the ground or enter a vehicle. So you can actually get quite a number of oysters with swimming (and a lot of patience). You can get all oysters in the SF bay this way, but I have not yet tried swimming through that river in Whetstone or swimming to the two oysters north of LV. I usually use the SF Jetmax for the Whetstone ones, sniping a few Predators along the way, and in N LV you can get pretty close to both oysters with a motorbike. -- Swimming into the Easter Basin Naval Base *will* trigger a wanted level, but only 4 rather than the usual 5 stars (if you're pre-'Farewell My Love', see chapter 5.1). -- The oysters in the rivers around LS can be picked up by boat without triggering a wanted level. For example, you could just go to northern LS, jump into the water and swim over to the LV jetmax which you can grab without triggering a wanted level. -- A collectibles-friendly entrance into LV could be: Swim into the bay below the dam & pick up the oysters there without a wanted level. Swim to the Seasparrow at the bottom of the dam, grab it (now the 4 wanted stars come up) and use it to pick up the three oysters in the upper part of the lake. Continue flying into LV and aim for those airborne horseshoes. If you take hits on the way you can grab a new Seasparrow north of the desert airfield.



Horseshoes: Since flying is rather unpredictable (as described in chapter 5.5), you should possibly try to pick up as many horseshoes as possible by bike. You can actually get quite a lot of them (43, I think) without flying and *all* of them without a jetpack (use a Seasparrow for the remaining ones) - but a complete 'Horseshoes' treatment would be too long and slightly off-topic for this guide. All I'm saying is - keep the airport-entry in mind and jump on top of vehicles to get onto some walls/roofs. And look out for suspicious-looking ramps (to jump into the Military Fuel Depot in N LV and onto the sphinx's left paw, for example). As for landing a chopper on that tower outside Come-A-Lot (the one with the two red-roofed spikes), don't try to actually land the chopper there conventionally. Have it hover just a little bit above landing position (so the rotating blades won't hit the two red spikes) and bail, so that both you and the chopper hit that ledge. Taking off usually damages the chopper a bit, but if you're careful enough you should be alright. Feel free to practice that landing (as well as grabbing some of those other hard-to-get-to horseshoes) without a wanted level first by using a savegame where LV is officially open. If you're using a chopper to pick up a horseshoe, try to land as close to it as possible - if you get back into the chopper while the blades are still rotating your take-off will be a lot quicker, leaving you less exposed to cop missiles.


Update: Discussion further down this topic increased the number of horseshoes that can be collected without flying to 47 by mega-hopping a bicycle. Mega-hops are described in chapter 3.4 as well as further down this topic. According to OrionSR it is possible to get to the one up the billboard in E LV with a mega-hop, but it's rather difficult, so this one is possibly better collected by parachuting. Find more information on mega-hops and horseshoes in this posting or have a look at this list by OrionSR. Personally I like to get horseshoes on roofs by mega-hops if possible; it saves the hassle of foot cops shooting out the tires of your bike.




6.2. NRG Challenge


This chapter exists mainly for completeness' sake. I really don't have much to add to what has already been said in chapter 3.2. other than that your route through the checkpoints will highly depend on the cops' behaviour and that a maxed bike stat will of course help immensely (although none is needed to trigger the mission). Here's a video of

including the way there from LS Airport.




6.3. Stadium Events (50% bike skill needed for LV races)


As mentioned in chapter 3.3. there won't be any cops during the races, but they'll be there as soon as you exit the stadium. In LV there are two 'Stadium Events' (you need 50% bike skill to access them): 'Dirt Track' on Mondays and Wednesdays, 'Kickstart' on all other days. Which means you can do both races in a row if you enter your first race just before midnight on every day from Sunday to Wednesday. Since the day will change during your first race you can go right back in afterwards to do the second race. The Dune you get for 'Kickstart' is one of the better 4-wheeled vehicles to use in locked-off territory; you might want to try it out. Don't use it to pick up the Jetmax though, whenever I tried that the Jetmax wouldn't spawn.




6.4. Courier Missions


Follow the advice given in the 'Driving' section of chapter 5. Watch out for road-blocks - they are especially nasty in SF and the Freeway you're doing the Hippy Shopper 'Courier' on seems to take easy damage. Since you can't swap vehicles in the 'Courier' missions you might have to get a respray if you've taken too much damage - depending on how much you care about your 'no. of resprays' stats of course. Watch out for foot cops near the drop-off coronas - if you stop for too long or even if you go slow enough, they might knock you off your bike and bust you while you're doing your delivery. The safest way to do deliveries is probably to go rather slowly without stopping completely. Time usually isn't an issue in the 'Courier' missions, so stay calm and drive carefully. And keep looking out for off-road / backyard routes - I've certainly learnt a few new ones since I did this video of the





6.5. Chiliad Challenge (only available from 7:00 to 18:00 / 40% cycling skill needed)


[ sources for the required cycling skill: 1 - 2 - 3 ]


The most difficult thing about this is probably: 'getting there' and 'getting back'. The races themselves are usually pretty much cop-less although a few foot cops might spawn near the finishing area. When some chasing cops are near you when you start the race, they might still be there when the race begins, so be careful not to get busted. During the actual race, I sometimes met a few foot cops during rounds 2 and 3, but nothing too bad. I never had cop vehicles attacking me during the races but they immediately appear as soon as you've crossed the finish line. If you fall off your bike during a race foot cops might appear, so it is strongly recommended to max out your cycling stat first.


As for 'getting there', it pretty much boils down to: fly there or go up on a Sanchez (spawns at the hut next to the finishing area) following the route of race 1 in reverse. The safest way to fly there is probably the AT-400, it won't get attacked by Hydras but to grab one you'd have to go to LV airport first (see chapters 4 & 5.5). If you fly by Shamal from LS Airport, you'll probably have to dodge missiles. Whichever way you fly, the top of Mt. Chiliad is rather easy territory for bailing even if you haven't got a parachute. If you prefer the parachute, there's a new one to pick up right there on the plateau. If, however, you go up that path you'll learn what it means to meet aggressive cop jeeps. That's why I'd strongly recommend you use a Sanchez for this; it gives you enough mobility to dodge those cops. Still, following this route is imho one of the most difficult things to do in locked-off territory. Now for most of the way, you'll have one car chasing you from behind and another one will spawn in the opposite direction, coming from above and trying to knock you out of the curves. You'll either have to go fast enough to stay away from the chasing car, or slow down and dodge it. Approach curves fairly fast but brake down abruptly before you reach them and cut them short on the inside; this might help you to avoid those cop cars and maybe even send them over the edge. There's one especially nasty bit where you go a long straight stretch without any curves. You'll probably meet at least one cop jeep coming in your opposite direction. Look out for the bits where the path is a bit wider, go on the outside and dodge them by quickly braking and cutting sharp towards the inside just before impact. This is generally the recommended way to dodge cops on your way up the mountain - go outside (where you can drop down) and dodge to the inside (where the mountain provides a wall). This way it's less likely that you and/or your Sanchez get knocked all the way down.


As for 'getting back', there's again two main possibilities. As mentioned in chapter 4. I'd recommend using the Sanchez near the finish to either go back to SF and pull a Jetmax escape or go towards LS (freeway or off-road), swim over and run to the Sta. Maria Beach safe house. If you do the second variant following the freeway, be very careful not to get knocked down into the ocean along your way, so stay away from the right edge of the road. Use electricity poles and trees to lose chasing cops. If you go off-road, stay between trees as much as possible. Also, it might be helpful to have some heavy weaponry to blow down cop helicopters before you jump into the water. If a chopper catches up with you while you're swimming, either dive or swim zig-zag. The deeper you dive, the less the bullets will hurt you. Swimming zig-zag helps you to stay out of the chopper's searchlight and thus prevents you from getting fired at, as mentioned in chapter 5.1. At Sta. Maria Beach you'll be greetet by foot cops by the dozen, so don't bother with them and just make a run for the safe house.


Here's a video of the 1st race of the

. I'm flying there in a Shamal from LS, dodging some Hydra missiles along the way, and going back the 'direct route' following the freeway. It's in no way a perfect run, but still 'educational'...




6.6. Gym Trainers (available after 'Drive-Thru' / 25% muscle needed)


The indoor-gyms are only accessible after you've played the storyline up to 'Drive-Thru'; for fighting the gym trainers you will also need at least 25% muscle (source). The outdoor gym at Verona Beach is accessible from the start of the game, but there's no trainer there to beat. You can work out though.


As mentioned in chapter 3.3., make sure you have an escape vehicle with you when you go to a gym in locked-off territoy. As with all indoor locations (see chapter 5.4.) you are safe from cops as long as you are inside, but there'll be quite a lot of them once you step outside. Don't park your vehicle too close to the gym door, park it around the next corner instead. This way it'll take less damage from those firing foot cops on your escape.




6.7. Schools (available after 'Deconstruction')


To access the schools, you'll have to play the storyline up to the SF mission 'Deconstruction'. The call you get from Jethro after that (when he sends you to the Driving School) opens the Boat and Bike Schools as well. The Bike School won't feature any cops at all, only when you leave the building afterwards - but hopefully you've just earned yourself a fine bonus bike to make a quick escape. The Boat School is mainly copless as well. The school itself as well as most of SF Bay doesn't even count as locked-off territory anymore at this stage of the game. So if you get to the Boat School without a wanted level (use a boat from SF for example), the 4 stars will only come up when you touch real locked-off ground at the beginning of the final test 'Land, Sea, and Air'. That one will go just fine as well most of the times, but sometimes you might get blown up as well. So if your boat catches fire or if you spot missiles homing in, quickly bail the test using the enter/exit key and try again. Afterwards, use the Jetmax you've just won to cross over to SF, jack a vehicle (grab a parked one outside Jizzy's club), and make a run for bribes, a safe house or a sprayshop.


Obviously (mentioned for completeness' sake), you can do neither the Driving School nor the Flying School in locked-off territory. Both of these have to be officially open before they can be accessed.




6.8. Weapons / Miniguns


The two miniguns in LV are available from the beginning of the game but the one in SF is shielded off by an invisible wall and you can only get to that when LV is officially open after 'Yay Ka-Boom-Boom'. The one at Toreno's Ranch will only appear after 'Vertical Bird'.

features the two LV minigun pickups, the way there via route A on the map, a unique jump at the Emerald Isle and the armour next to the LV Jetmax; oh, and a cop car falling out of the sky too. In locked-off territory I usually pick up miniguns and the bonus weapons from the collectibles. For more weapon spawn points please consult the resources given in chapter 0.




6.9. Girlfriends


Michelle, Katie and Barbara appear from the beginning of the game. You can chat them up so they will be CJ's girlfriends, but you cannot take them out on dates. It doesn't matter if you've opened up the restaurants by playing the storyline up to 'Ryder', dates in locked-off territory will always fail immediately and you'll get a message like "You've bored her legs off, date's over." That means you won't get your dating stats to anything higher than the initial 15%. You will however get the bonus features that come with having chatted up these girls: an extra free sprayshop in SF (Michelle) and keeping your weapons and money when wasted (Katie) or busted (Barbara). Especially these last two features can be very helpful, depending on how you like your stats.




6.10. The Unnecessary and The Impossible


They don't count towards 100% completion, but if you enter locked-off territory you can do all of the unique stunt jumps but one. The one in SF at Gant Bridge can't be done before LV is officially open, because its landing zone is blocked off by an invisible barrier.


Some of the vehicular side-missions that are officially available in LS from the start of the game can also be done in locked-off territory while others won't work over there. None of this is really necessary, but in case you think about spicing things up a bit, here's the situation:


It is possible to do 'Taxi' and 'Pimping' in locked-off territory. Passengers and hookers will not get killed when hit by police cars while they enter your car. It's still rather tricky; I didn't even try to make 50 'Taxi' fares, 'Pimping' I did once and got to level 8. It's very likely that you'll have to respray a lot. While it's not too hard to find a Taxi or Cabbie, getting a Broadway for the 'Pimping' mission may cause problems. There's only one point in the game where a Broadway will spawn, and that's in LS. So in both SF and LV you will have to find one 'around'.


It's *not* possible to do either 'Paramedic', 'Firefighter', 'Vigilante' or 'Burglary' in locked-off territory. You will find your vehicles and the missions can be triggered, but you cannot actually do them. When triggering 'Firefighter' nothing at all happens - no instructions, no timer, no burning vehicles. 'Paramedic' seems to start normally, but then no patients and no timer appear. 'Vigilante' went as 'Firefighter' most of the times, once though in southern LV the mission looked as it should, but the suspect was out of reach in LS / Red County. 'Burglary' starts as usual (you can break into houses and steal stuff) but you can never deliver your goods because the game will only let you do that without a wanted level.




6.11. The Elite Of San Andreas




Doing all available side-missions without touching the main storyline


Many people like to play as much of the main storyline back-to-back as possible, without too much interruption by side-missions. For this it is quite desirable to have some kind of "starter save" with all of the initially available side-missions done and all of the storyline still ahead. Of course there are a lot of side-missions you have immediate official access to, but if you've followed this guide, you'll have got the idea that if you enter locked-off territory, there actually is quite a bit more that you can do before even touching the storyline. I'll provide a list below, but first let me point towards crazyanurag's fantastic topic where he provides a starter save just like this, it even includes the unique stunts and two girlfriends. In case you want to do one of these yourself, here's a little bit of strategy:


When you start a new game, you can go free-roaming (hey! I wrote f r e e - r o a m i n g ... lol) as soon as the game tells you to get on that bike. Even though you are told to get to Grove Street, you don't have any time limit for this and you are not officially on a mission - so you can do whatever you want first, i.e. getting those side-missions out of the way. I'd strongly suggest you do all the officially available side missions in LS first - you'll get money and you'll raise your stats. In-between missions you can collect weapons or spray tags or pump iron at the outdoor gym at Verona Beach. Keep the gym glitch in mind and feed CJ at least twice each in-game day; you can't access the restaurants yet but you have snack machines, drinks machines and fast food stalls at your disposal.


Now for a few technicalities about "not touching the main storyline" and Grove Street. The biggest drawback is probably that you cannot access The Johnsohn House and neither of the weapon pickups in there. That would require doing the 'Big Smoke / Sweet & Kendl' mission. For the same reason you cannot save your game in there. If you're really strict about it, you shouldn't even go anywhere *near* The Johnson House because as soon as you do that, CJ will mutter "Grove Street - Home", and with that you technically *have* touched the storyline. This can be avoided though, and mostly in a pretty much straight-forward manner: stay away from Grove Street and collect your weapons elsewhere. The bonus weapons you get for doing the tags (plus many more) can be found all across LS (see chapter 0 for map resources) and there is one off-Grove-Street spraycan in northern LS (see the map and the screenshot) which you can use for the tags. Well, all except one, and this is where the trickery starts.


There is one tag in Grove Street (at the bridge next to Ryder's house) which you normally cannot spray without triggering CJ's "Grove Street" line. The trick to get this tag without triggering CJ's line is: spray it during the 'Pimping', 'Burglary', LS 'Courier' or 'Vigilante' mission. These missions allow you to leave your vehicle (20 seconds in 'Pimping' and 'Courier' / 60 seconds in 'Vigilante' / until sunrise in 'Burglary') without failing them and the "Grove Street" line will not get triggered while on a side mission. I find it easiest during 'Pimping': start the side mission and go spray that tag before picking up the first girl and you won't even have a mission timer to worry about. Doing it during 'Burglary' or 'Courier' is also fairly relaxed whereas during 'Vigilante' you might have more pressing issues. In any case, make sure that this is not the last of your tags or you might end up with a cheat count in your stats. This happened to me once and I haven't tried again.


In a similar manner, the garage at The Johnson House can be used, but only during 'Pimping', 'Burglary', 'Courier' or 'Vigilante' if you want to avoid the "Grove Street" line.


Another trick to avoid CJ's line is: climb roofs. You can park a vehicle on the road directly S of The Johnsohn House, jump on top of it, and from there jump onto the red sunscreen. This enables you to get onto the roof of the Pawn Shop (yellow building) and to the spraycan pickup there. You can even climb onto the roof of CJ's house and via its garage roof make it all the way to the machine gun pickup on the roof of Sweet's house. Use the same way back to your vehicle. As long as you stay on the roofs and don't touch the ground, the "Grove Street" line will not get triggered. The pistol in the backyards N of Sweet's house is still off-limits but it turns out CJ doesn't know his own house while standing on top of it... wink.gif


For completeness' sake: flying over Grove Street will not trigger CJ's line.



No matter if you do or don't care about that "Grove Street" line, here's a list of things you can do without touching the actual storyline:



no wanted level / LS: 4 wanted stars / locked-off territory:
Taxi, Paramedic, Firefighter

Taxi first - see Taxi Glitch in chapter 2.



doesn't count towards 100% but gives

infinite sprint - highly recommended


Pimping, Food Mart Courier, Vigilante

one of these or Burglary incl. that

Grove Street Tag


rest of the Tags


BMX Challenge, 8-Track

20% cycling skill (source) / 20% driving skill required


6 LS safe houses

in case you need it for the Mulholland

safe house, make money at Inside Track Betting


begin with collecting Oysters

2 Courier missions

Hippy Shopper in SF and Burger Shot in LV


3 Stadium Events

50% bike skill required for LV stadium races


NRG Challenge


Chiliad Challenge

3 runs, 40% cycling skill required


Snapshots, Horseshoes, remaining Oysters



possible but not required:


69 Unique Jumps


3 girlfriends

you can chat them up but you can't date


If you've done all of these, you'll end up with 13.37% of the game completed.

[if you replace the numbers by letters, '1337' spells 'LEET', a degenerative form of the word 'elite' - read more here].


Obviously, Rockstar thinks you're Teh Elite now, sooo:



---> w00t & Congratzz !!! lol.gificon14.gif




Edited by rubregg
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7. Thanks



This guide would of course not exist without countless direct and indirect contributions of many fellow players, so...




Grand Thanks to

for a number plate, for all your support and for initiating this project - I so much hope you'll be back here one day and see what it turned into...



for far too much - a long time ago you were the first to ever mention the possibility of getting all collectibles in locked-off territory to me, to name just one example. You know all the rest; thanks for your support, mate !!



for far too much - especially for introducing me to OrionSR's guide and for keeping me up-to-date with some of the more important information from there. Also for hosting the Chain Game which has provided an excellent & fun practice platform for me. And there's more...


JAJ & crazyanurag again

for proof-reading the beta version of this guide and for correcting me on some factual errors.



for a fantastic related guide and for lots of the advanced trickery as well as many fruitful discussions. Major-cool videos, mate!!



for webspace, sofaspace and letting me play GTA 1 on his PC back then...



your guides are simply superb. Without your guide I might never have played SA to 100% in the first place.



for the NRG jump, a screenshot, dresscode advice and loads of real-life fun. Muha. FCN !



for your trucking video - very educational on 4-star driving.



for clearing up what causes the Taxi/Toreno glitch.


GTA Phreak

for knowledge of early access bridges and huge planes.



for sniping police choppers.



for lots of general support and everso fruitful scripting discussions.


all contributors

everyone who somehow or other contributed to this guide or the sources and resources referenced in here.


everyone I forgot




Right, that's it. Thanks for reading, and please shout or PM if you come across factual errors, typos, etc. - especially if you think I forgot to mention someone in the 'Sources' or 'Thanks' chapter, which I probably have.



Aaaand now ...[drumrolls]...



--> Enjoy your adventures on 4 wanted stars !!



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Edited by rubregg
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1st release finished


Right, so it's finally done biggrin.gif


I might brush up the formatting a little (Edit: done), and eventually there may be a few minor additions / edits due to ongoing discussions in the current round of the chain game, but for now I might as well call this a release.


Please enjoy the guide and the videos, and please let me know how you like it --> any feedback is highly appreciated smile.gif




I do have hi-res versions (compared to youtube) of all my videos (512x384-xvid-mp3), but no webspace to host them. If there's interest, I might try making a torrent and sharing them that way.



My videos are now available for download & chapter 0 includes the link (thanks to DrSnuggles for generously providing webspace).


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Excellent work rubregg. I hope this guide stimulates lots of discussion on this topic.

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I tried this before. It was kind of fun.


BTW, the text limit of a post is astronomical. I've only ever known one topic to break it. Otherwise, the limit is so many images/smilies. Probably could've used one post, but meh. Rather too much forethought than not enough wink.gif

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wonderful, exhaustive guide. nice work, rubregg. obviously, a lot of thought, care and time went into this. thanks for the great contribution to the forums!! i'm honored that you included my video.

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Wow, thanks for your lovely comments and the good ratings, mates. I'm glad you like it!! smile.gif



hehe, yes I actually *have* thought about text limits and 1 posting vs. multiple postings. but no one could tell me how to link to a place in the middle of a posting, so if I had put it all into one posting, there couldn't be any cross-references. this way I can at least cross-reference to the main chapters.



glad you like the music!! ...since I just spotted your Brazil flag - have you ever come across the label Editio Princeps? They're a really small label in Rio de Janeiro, they have excellent music and they're very friendly too. [The song in the Chiliad Challenge video comes from one of their cds - 'Akinetón Retard - Ao Vivo']. Anyway, in case you're interested, their website is http://www.editioprinceps.com. (and no, I'm not affiliated to them)



I'm happy to include your trucking video. after all it was this video that first inspired me to try trucking level 8 without using the railtracks. smile.gif

Edited by rubregg
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okay, i'm at a Starbucks which has free internet, and thank goodness i can log on to GTAF from here...this is a bit rushed, but whatever...


well, it's out finally! how strange that i wasn't around for the final leg...great job Alex - we don't expect anything less than that from you anyway...this is the best topic i've seen in recent memory...


i think a pinnage is in order...and give the man some karma stars!


You'll Never Walk Alone

Edited by crazyanurag
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Wow! it really turned out good! Great videos, the music really goes with the action & seems to add another dimension to it!

Very thourough & complete!

I'm still dying but I'll keep at it - there's still abunch of the tips that I haven't tried yet.




i think a pinnage is in order...and give the man some karma stars!
I'd like to 'second' that...


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what can i say??? obviously a lot of time and effort which means cookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gifcookie.gif


Well done!




Wondering whether you'd want to put in how to take down choppers with one sniper bullet??? It seems relevant to me

Edited by Gray_Eagle
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Hey Anurag, thanks and great to hear from you!! Wasn't sure whether you could make it here during your trip... smile.gif -- "...the final leg..." ??? haha, maybe not... a lot is being discussed since the release, so I think there's still potential for future additions or changes...



Thanks, mate. I'm sure the music might not be everybody's cup of tea, so I'm glad to hear some people do like it. Happy to hear the sound editing is being noticed too. smile.gif



i think a pinnage is in order...and give the man some karma stars!
I'd like to 'second' that...

umm, eeerrrr, what can I say.... THANKS!! blush.gif




This now is stuff from ongoing discussions in the current chain game (round 16). Due to on-/off-topicness we decided to continue those in here.




Thanks for praise & cookies - and *really* good to see you're trying this. Congrats on the successful Bike School icon14.gifsmile.gif


@anybody who give a sh*te about bridge barriers: On the Martin Bridge ( Badlands to LV), you can ride a bike (i was on a Sanchez) along the red railing and get over the barrier  wow.gif  monocle.gif

Cool, I couldn't manage to do that so far... Last time I tried the railing of Fallow Bridge (the next one east of Martin Bridge) with a Sanchez, but only made it to where the railing goes downward for the 1st time. After a couple of wet tries I ended up just walking over on said railing... lol.gif



Talking of bridges, OrionSR reported this about Gant Bridge (screenshots are in his original posting):

Gads, the barrier on the Gant Bridge is huge. Not just in height, but it extend more than half way across the bridge span. It's definitely a flying hazard. The other bridges connecting SF and LV also have very tall barriers, but they extend only a short distance on either side of the blockade. The barriers are roughly 80% the total height of the structure, and seem to be simple rectangular prisms. Here's a couple of screenshots from Gant. [...] In the 3rd shot, CJ is facing the SF side of the barrier. This explains a lot of the plane crashes back when I was more inclined to fly into the restricted areas.



Now about horseshoes. I mentioned in the guide that I can do 43 without flying. OrionSR described here how to get a few more by mega-hopping, i.e. bunyhopping on a bicycle and firing an SMG shortly after releasing the jump key. This will give you some extra upward boost - and so far I knew nothing about this lol.gif


Here's a little more on the mega-hop, and finally:



I'm not sure I'm going to use my programmed mega-hop all that often. It kind of feels like cheating. (...) I don't think it's necessary. I do pretty well without it. But keep in mind when it isn't working, it might not be a timing problem. There are often other factors, and that what I'm hoping to learn with the programmed button. For now, coast a little so... CJ can get his feet set. Try to take off from a level surface - it seems to help. Lift the front wheel and turn a little in case it doesn't work. The wheelie seems to help reduce falling, and turn to get the front wheel off the wall before landing.


There's a BMX spawn in the far north of LV, parked at the Burger Shot. I can't tell a difference between the BMX and Mt Bike quite yet. I seem to prefer the maneuverability of the BMX. But the Mt Bike appears to have a low gear, and it might be faster - haven't checked yet, so I'm not sure which will be best in the long run. The mega-hop height is the same for both vehicles.

Oh, so it's possible with the BMX as well?? It hasn't worked for me with the BMX so I thought it's only the mountainbike... I think the mountainbike has a smaller gear than the BMX, like you said, and I also think it may have a bigger max speed? That's just a feeling though, I haven't checked yet...




Wondering whether you'd want to put in how to take down choppers with one sniper bullet??? It seems relevant to me
oh. can you? snipe the pilot??



Edited by rubregg
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oh. can you? snipe the pilot??


Its tricky to explain but you sort of need to shoot where the spinny bit that spins the rotors meets the roof. I'd just get a Maverick and take some shots to see exactly where. I can always record it and put er on youtube. Ah even better - a screenshot!!! dozingoff.gif (it is 4 in the morning....)



EDIT: Yes you can do the mga-hop on a BMX, aswell as a "Bike"

Edited by Gray_Eagle
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'grats on the karma, Alex...well deserved!



and the pin wink.gif


You'll Never Walk Alone

Edited by crazyanurag
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I also tried riding over the rails of the Fallow and Martin Bridges using an NRG. I could only make it past the first barrier, and couldn't find a way to ride over the 2nd blockade.


Bridge Barrier Notes:


The invisible barriers over the bridges seem to have different heights. The train trestle between LS and LV has a medium height barrier that extends a few meters above the large yellow sign. The nameless bridge between Fallen Tree and Blueberry and the Mako Span (LV/LS Freeway) also have medium height barriers - the Mako Span only has one barrier, or a short rail if returning to LS. The Fallow and Martin Bridges both have short barriers that extend about a meter above the yellow sign, but this height still requires a mega-hop. Other bridges between LS and SF territories appear to have tall barriers that a mega-hop cannot clear. The barriers on the bridges between SF and LV are very tall; about 80% of the height of the structure.


50 Horseshoes in 1 Trip to Las Venturas


It has been a goal of mine for some time to collect all 50 horseshoes in one save. When rubregg suggested there were 43 horseshoes that could be collected without using aircraft, I had to go back and take a hard look at some of the horseshoes I've been collecting by air. Flying in restricted territory is extremely risky, so this was the major limit on the success and completeness of a collection run. Then just to prove him wrong, I found a way to collect 4 more horseshoes using mega-hops. However, one of these is the billboard horseshoe, and it's a very difficult jump, so I still think this horseshoe is easier to collect with a parachute. Below is a list of challenging horseshoes and the methods used to collect them.


My current horsehoe tally is: [dark52 horseshoe #s]


1 collected by parachute (billboard) - I'm starting with this one. [#44]

3 collected with a Sea Sparrow (1 on top of Emerald Isle, and 2 inside of Come-A-Lot) [#8, 30, 31]

3 collected on a bicycle using mega-hop, or aircraft (Four Dragons, Chinese themed mall, Old Strip Casino) [#29. 43, 46]

1 horseshoe just SW of Emerald Isle can be collected by mega-hop, or an insane jump from the top of Emerald Isle [#10]

1 horseshoe collected by swimming and climbing under fire [#38] (get #40 from around back or mega-hop to the roof)

1 horseshoe collected with mega-hop, bike stunt, or military vehicle (Fuel Depot) [#50]

1 horseshoe collected by bike stunt, mega-hop, bunny-hop, aircraft (ring around pyramid) [#36]

3 horseshoes can be collected by climbing a vehicle (or mega-hop/wall walking) [#16, 15, 47]

7 horseshoes collected by climbing walls (or maybe bunny-hop/mega-hop) [#32, 42, 39, 11, 13, 14, 3]

3 horseshoes locked in the airport collected by bike stunt, mega-hop, or climbing [#19, 20, 21]

26 horseshoe that don't have distinguishing challenges [# all the rest]


I'm starting to get the hang of using a cycle with 4 stars. It doesn't take much to get laid out and quickly busted, but last night I finally met my goal of collecting all 50 horseshoes in a single trip/save. I started by parachuting to the billboard, then busted on out to get the Sea Sparrow for the flying horseshoes. I didn't take any hits, so I grabbed a the mall and Old Strip horseshoes with the Sea Sparrow before switch to the Mountain Bike. After I had collected the mega-hop horseshoes, and a couple of the climbing ones, I switched to the safety of a motorbike for the remained of the collection. This morning I tried again, got the billboard and 3 flying horseshoes, and collected everything else using the Mountain Bike. It's still taking more than an hour to complete, but I should be able to make better time once I've worked out the new strategies and routes. Also, I'm having too much fun hopping from roof to roof and over rails to shake the cops, so I'm wasting a lot of time.

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Mega-Hop Analysis


I ran a few tests on mega-hop, mostly using my programmed mega-hop button. My gamepad allows me to record macros with releases and pauses, so I've got Joy10 set to hold hop for .4 seconds, and then release the hold and fire .1 seconds later. Tenths of a second seems to me the finest resolution possible - maybe I can edit it manually. I turned on the Frame Limiter in the hope that it would improve consistency, I'm not sure that it helped.


I observed CJ's animation during bunny-hops and mega-hops on a BMX while holding the look left button. During a bunny hop, CJ's animation has him crouch down, and the SMG is pointed downward. When he releases, the animation for the tip of the SMG has it flip up a little during the jump before coming to it's resting point. When CJ fires his weapon, he lifts the gun from the handlebars to shoot. The mega-hop seems to occur when the flipping animation is replace by raising the weapon. Too soon, and CJ will aim then flip, too late, and CJ will flip then aim. Get it just right, and CJ's aim doesn't flip the tip of the SMG. Maybe someone can make some recordings and slow it way down. That might help with the timing issue.


I kept a tally during 100 jumps. CJ was stopped on the airport runway during the test, and I used whatever camera angle it provided. 55% of the time my mega-hop was successful. I tried to manipulate these numbers based on a superstition that perhaps mega-jumps that occur when the clock is close to ticking over another second are less likely, but in the end, it all seemed rather random. Also, the mega-hops or bunny-hops tended to occur in batches. It'd be working fine for a while, then nothing for a long stretch.


Mega-hop height is 36 feet for a short hold time, and 40 feet for a long hold time. This assumes that CJ's cycle skill is at 100%. I'm reasonably sure that more skill leads to more height on the mega-hops, just like the bunny hops.

Edited by OrionSR
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Good job rubregg icon14.gif

Especially with the NRG jump to LV!

I also completed my 13.37%, but I always swim to reach LV.

On some ocassion when I need to bring NRG to complete unique jumps in LV, I always used both NRG + Packer confused.gif

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"...the final leg..." ??? haha, maybe not... a lot is being discussed since the release, so I think there's still potential for future additions or changes...


in that case, you might want to have a look over here...


You'll Never Walk Alone

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