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The would-be Yakuza-Cartel deal: were Kenji and/or Asuka planning to s


GreenOnions

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GreenOnions

("...planning to sell out Claude to the Cartel?")

 

I apologize in advance if someone has already started a thread like this; I didn't notice anything when I skimmed through the last few pages of topics, and this isn't something that occurred to me until my second or third playthrough.

 

Anyway, I think one of the things that really sets GTA III apart from most of the other games that followed it is that there is really no "upward mobility" for the protagonist. Claude is basically just a mercenary; he has no natural loyalties toward any gang or individual in Liberty City, and doesn't seem interested in becoming a powerful crime boss in his own right. Instead, he seems content to take any job from any individual or group willing to pay him. While he does make quite a name for himself in Liberty, the result is that by the end of the game, the city is actually more dangerous for Claude than it was at the beginning, as Claude ends up working against almost all of the gangs in Liberty City at one point or another. (Working with the Leones pits him against the Triads; Maria telling Salvatore that she and Claude are sleeping together forces him to ally with the Yakuza against the Leone Mafia; working with the Yardies makes him an enemy of the Diablos; the Yardies working with the Cartel makes Claude an enemy of theirs). The further you advance in the story, the fewer places you can go without getting ambushed by a gang. Ultimately, there are only two gangs that aren't openly hostile to Claude by the end of the game: the Southside Hoods and the Yakuza.

 

Of those two, the Yakuza plays a much larger role in the overall story. Asuka--probably one of the better strategic thinkers in the entire series--offers Claude steady work and some degree of protection from their mutual enemies in exchange for his services. And for the most part, Asuka seems to hold up her end of the bargain. That's what made Claude killing Asuka's brother Kenji on Donald Love's orders such an interesting twist; here was Claude double-crossing the one crime boss he had worked with thus far who hadn't double-crossed him and/or broken off contact. Seeing Asuka torture Catalina's lackey Miguel on the (mistaken) belief that it was he had who killed her brother can be a bit unsettling, since we know that if she ever found out the truth that Claude killed Kenji, she would probably be even harsher, given that she would have every reason to see it as a much more personal betrayal.

 

Which it certainly was. Regardless of the fact that Claude probably had little if any interest in the gang "politics" of Liberty City outside of staying alive long enough to settle the score with Catalina. Donald Love's idea to re-ignite a full-blown gang war between the Yakuza and the Cartel could be advantageous for Claude, in that it would put the Cartel on the defensive and likely give him a better chance to hunt down or draw out Catalina. And that's more or less what happens.

 

But I can't help but wonder, what did Kenji and the Colombian representative(s) hope to accomplish at this meeting? Love himself notes that existing tensions between the two gangs are high, and because of this, pretty much any misstep by either side could get them fighting again. Still, there was at least some attempt to negotiate something between those two groups, the obvious question being, "what could one offer the other?" Asuka tells Claude later on that Catalina has become paranoid and obsessed with taking out Claude before he can strike at them. And yet with Claude working on-and-off for both Asuka and Kenji, the Yakuza might have held a pretty valuable bargaining chip in Claude himself.

 

It's probably impossible to know for sure, but I wouldn't put it past Asuka. Though she seems to like Claude, she's also very pragmatic. What's the value of one hired gun compared to the value of a major deal with the Cartel? (Plus, then she'd have Maria all to herself!)

Edited by GreenOnions
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Asuka used Claude to weaken the Cartel, so I doubt she would be willing to hand him out to the very enemies she is trying to destroy.

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Jeansowaty

What? Nah it's not possible. Yakuzas & Cartel were great enemies to each other. Thing is, Kenji was not attending a meeting with the Colombians. When was this event even happening? The meet in Waka-Gashira Wipeout! was solely between Yakuzas. They were not meant to meet the Cartel.

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"Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave, for evil finds lodging among them."

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GreenOnions

What? Nah it's not possible. Yakuzas & Cartel were great enemies to each other. Thing is, Kenji was not attending a meeting with the Colombians. When was this event even happening? The meet in Waka-Gashira Wipeout! was solely between Yakuzas. They were not meant to meet the Cartel.

Revisiting the scene, I think you're probably right. Love never explicitly said that the Yakuza was expecting representatives from the Cartel to arrive, only that Claude would need to carry out the hit in a way that the Colombians would be blamed, so he could get the full-blown gang war he's been after. I guess I assumed that holding that meeting at the top of that parking garage was meant to put the two sides on "neutral" territory. If it was just a meeting between different Yakuza bosses, I'm not sure why they wouldn't just go to Kenji's casino or Asuka's apartment complex, but maybe they figured that they would have be less likely to get spied on by rival gangs or cops if they met somewhere unfamiliar.

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Pump Action Pimp

Good read here. I don't have much to add to the thread, but I do agree with you saying Claude himself is a bargaining chip. Especially since he's so hard to track down.

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PhillBellic

In many regards, Claude was an unwitting Pawn, used by which ever gang that wanted to advance its' interests.

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  • 1 month later...
DragonpokeZ

Uh, no. Yakuza and Cartel hate each other, and after Kenji was killed by 'a Colombian assassin' war broke out. The Mafia DID do a deal to kill Claude though, as mentioned by Maria during Last Requests. That's why Salvatore made you get into a car with a car bomb

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  • 7 years later...

The thing is, is that the meeting was in a different gangs territory, it was at a multistorey carpark in Newport. The yardies. I think it's suspicious it was held in that area considering the relationship between the Yakuza and the Yardies at the time. Were they making a peace arrangement? The fact that the mission was given by Donald love makes me believe it had something to do about the secret package (hell all of his missions revolved around that).  If we look into the original 2000 design document story, it was the Yakuza who had taken the old oriental man from the prison convoy, did they want the same thing that the Columbians want? Only difference is it seemed like they had known this oriental gentleman before by bowing to him. Also not to mention the old oriental man comes somewhere from East Asia. 

Edited by atay26
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