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Blackalien

Is CJ dumb?

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Blackalien

Ok, so here's the story - I saw on other topics people saying that Carl ''CJ'' Johnson is a/the dumb/dumbest character in the whole series(or maybe just the 3D era). And they were saying it, because he was doing the dirty work for many people in San Andreas, he was playing by their rules and was kinda blind to see the reality. And why this makes him dumb?Also leave aside that he becomes a millionaire at the end(there is no protagonist who didn't end being a sucessfull millionaire). :D

So what if he's just a good person? He was always trying to help others, leaving his problems. The thing that maybe made people think CJ is dumb was that, becuase he was good, other characters saw that and understood he is easy to manipulate. Maybe it was this, he wasn't dumb or something like that, just was a good person wich turned out not be the ideal thing for a leader of a street gang.

Let's say - not dumb, just a bit stupid. I feel it was better like this and with the respect of the people you helped, than someone devil, killing everyone and not respected by anyone(probably will get you killed at the end). :)

 

P.S. I kinda went serious here, but it was just pissing me of, so I had to tell my opinion :colgate:

 

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Boyz2Society

I would say that CJ's intelligence is average to say the least. He's not as intelligent as Tommy, but he's also nowhere near as mentally ill as Trevor.

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mcorleone_9015

And they were saying it, because he was doing the dirty work for many people in San Andreas, he was playing by their rules and was kinda blind to see the reality.

 

That could be said about, well, almost every single protagonist... each one of them (Claude, Tommy, Niko, Michael, Franklin, Trevor) was doing dirty work for other people and not knowing what was really going on behind everything, at least in some part of the story...

 

 

(there is no protagonist who didn't end being a sucessfull millionaire). :D

 

Niko didn't end being a sucessful millionaire (at least untill the game ending, he could become millionaire in the revenge ending as Roman said they could "make money from free" and Niko helping Roman in his business, but there's nothing really confirmed).

 

 

So what if he's just a good person? He was always trying to help others, leaving his problems. The thing that maybe made people think CJ is dumb was that, becuase he was good, other characters saw that and understood he is easy to manipulate. Maybe it was this, he wasn't dumb or something like that, just was a good person wich turned out not be the ideal thing for a leader of a street gang.

Let's say - not dumb, just a bit stupid. I feel it was better like this and with the respect of the people you helped, than someone devil, killing everyone and not respected by anyone(probably will get you killed at the end). :)

 

P.S. I kinda went serious here, but it was just pissing me of, so I had to tell my opinion :colgate:

 

 

I don't think being "good" is the same as being naive and easy to manipulate, but that's another subject... Well, i would agree that he was kind of dumb in the beginning of the game, as he was being constantly brainwashed by Big Smoke, Ryder and Tenpenny, but he really became a lot smarter and more mature through the story...

That being said, he's not really that smart but he's not a idiot either. You can't build a empire such as his by being "dumb"

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Osho

CJ is not dumb. He can be called naive, a bit immature, and very young for the task of dealing with the corrupt system which will obviously make it tough for anyone to take up such challenging tasks even in real life.

I would seriously want to know from those who think CJ is dumb, What kind of a 'practical experience' did you possess at the age of 24, that you ever in real life had to deal with the corrupt cops, esp., when you find and meet one like Officer Tenpenny, and take up the responsibility to re establish and reunite the family by fighting through various dangerous gangs?

I don't think there is anyone here who have similar experiences like CJ in real life, and thus they have no right to claim CJ was/is dumb when they have zero experiences to prove otherwise.

Those who think CJ is dumb are not taking his young age into consideration, nor understand his story, otherwise they wouldn't be comparing CJ with Tommy.

Its like comparing an emerging youth who would have chosen to pursue his dreams at his age outside this gangster stuff, instead of learning to deal with unexpected difficulties life throws in his way, with someone like Tommy who at the age of 21 was just thrown into prison to rot.

I think its plain stupidity to compare CJ with Tommy. I mean, If Tommy was so intelligent, then he wouldb't be arrested and waste his life in prison for goddamn 15 years? :blink:

It shows, Tommy was still inexperienced and learned the challenges of being a naive at a similar age just like CJ. By the time he left prison, it already had made an impact on Tommys' life, and thus we can see Tommy in a whole new transformation in the rest of his story becoming the kingpin.

Just like CJ rose to success in the end and became a kingpin in GTA SA.

 

There you go OP. I made it clear and proved who is actually dumb LOL!

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GreenOnions

I definitely agree that CJ's age/relative inexperience should be taken into consideration here, especially if we're going to start comparing him to other protagonists in the series.

 

The interesting thing with CJ is that he really spent the ~five years leading up to the start of San Andreas not even close to realizing his full potential. He was obviously guilt-ridden and shaken by the death of Brian, and pretty much by his own admission went to Liberty City in order to escape. Judging by the "Introduction video for SA, he was a small-time criminal at best. But he really starts to pick up momentum once he earns some level of respect from Sweet, who credits him with restoring GSF's power in Los Santos almost single-handedly. He's eager to prove himself to Sweet and all these other people from his past, and he ends up really shining in this role as a result. The downside, of course, is that his "wishful thinking" blinds him somewhat. He picks up on some cues that Big Smoke may not be so loyal to GSF as he wants everyone to believe, but never really pursues any of this until he's forced to. Cesar even says later on that he wanted CJ to see Smoke and Ryder's meeting with CRASH first-hand, as he knew that CJ might not believe him if he were to just describe what he was seeing over the phone.

 

So suddenly CJ (and by extension, the player) is confronted with the reality that all of the work he has done to seize more territory for GSF in Santos has basically been for nothing. I think it's fair to say that CJ both underestimated Tenpenny and lost sight of the bigger picture, mainly because things seemed to be going pretty well for him up to that point. That's human nature, to some extent, and I think the younger you are, the more understandable that sort of thing is.

 

But Sweet's life/safety was something that Tenpenny (and later Toreno) could legitimately hold over CJ's head to get him to do their bidding. I suppose once things started to go well for him financially he could have just told them to go to hell and abandon Sweet to his fate, but given the fact that he was still blaming himself for Brian, I don't think he could have lived with himself if he didn't at least try to help him out. There's no doubt that both of those guys put CJ in some very dangerous positions--not to mention the fact that Tenpenny tried and failed to have him whacked--but he was really in no position to negotiate and didn't want to take a chance with Sweet's life. I honestly think that he would have preferred to die knowing that he had tried to help Sweet than live on with the guilt and shame of possibly "failing" yet another member of his family.

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lil weasel

It is a matter of a Stereotypical Slum Gang Family portrait:

Not Dumb, no he is:

He is a sadistic psychotic killer.

He buried a guy alive in concrete.

He burns people, alive.

He frequently committed Hit & Run.

He aided and abated illegal immigration. (He could be Obama's Son -- :))

He committed acts of Vigilantism.

He committed espionage.

He committed an act of terrorism/sabotage.

He has no thought for the public welfare, in that he abandoned an aircraft in flight. Allowing said aircraft to crash.

His few acts of public service involved stealing a vehicle and collecting money for his unauthorized healthcare services.

Et cetera…

Edited by lil weasel

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Blackalien

I definitely agree that CJ's age/relative inexperience should be taken into consideration here, especially if we're going to start comparing him to other protagonists in the series.

 

The interesting thing with CJ is that he really spent the ~five years leading up to the start of San Andreas not even close to realizing his full potential. He was obviously guilt-ridden and shaken by the death of Brian, and pretty much by his own admission went to Liberty City in order to escape. Judging by the "Introduction video for SA, he was a small-time criminal at best. But he really starts to pick up momentum once he earns some level of respect from Sweet, who credits him with restoring GSF's power in Los Santos almost single-handedly. He's eager to prove himself to Sweet and all these other people from his past, and he ends up really shining in this role as a result. The downside, of course, is that his "wishful thinking" blinds him somewhat. He picks up on some cues that Big Smoke may not be so loyal to GSF as he wants everyone to believe, but never really pursues any of this until he's forced to. Cesar even says later on that he wanted CJ to see Smoke and Ryder's meeting with CRASH first-hand, as he knew that CJ might not believe him if he were to just describe what he was seeing over the phone.

 

So suddenly CJ (and by extension, the player) is confronted with the reality that all of the work he has done to seize more territory for GSF in Santos has basically been for nothing. I think it's fair to say that CJ both underestimated Tenpenny and lost sight of the bigger picture, mainly because things seemed to be going pretty well for him up to that point. That's human nature, to some extent, and I think the younger you are, the more understandable that sort of thing is.

 

But Sweet's life/safety was something that Tenpenny (and later Toreno) could legitimately hold over CJ's head to get him to do their bidding. I suppose once things started to go well for him financially he could have just told them to go to hell and abandon Sweet to his fate, but given the fact that he was still blaming himself for Brian, I don't think he could have lived with himself if he didn't at least try to help him out. There's no doubt that both of those guys put CJ in some very dangerous positions--not to mention the fact that Tenpenny tried and failed to have him whacked--but he was really in no position to negotiate and didn't want to take a chance with Sweet's life. I honestly think that he would have preferred to die knowing that he had tried to help Sweet than live on with the guilt and shame of possibly "failing" yet another member of his family.

Now that's some good thinking right there. I really never tought of that about Brian and how CJ could of walk away without saving Sweet, but if he did that he will be feeling guilty for the rest of his life.

 

P.S. Now it starts to make even more sense when you think how characters's psychological thinking was made. Maybe it could be very interesting if you had the choice to fight for Sweet or leave him. Mybe we could see two different personalities of CJ at the end. I know that it's not possible, but I just find it interesting :)

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Blackalien

CJ is not dumb. He can be called naive, a bit immature, and very young for the task of dealing with the corrupt system which will obviously make it tough for anyone to take up such challenging tasks even in real life.

I would seriously want to know from those who think CJ is dumb, What kind of a 'practical experience' did you possess at the age of 24, that you ever in real life had to deal with the corrupt cops, esp., when you find and meet one like Officer Tenpenny, and take up the responsibility to re establish and reunite the family by fighting through various dangerous gangs?

I don't think there is anyone here who have similar experiences like CJ in real life, and thus they have no right to claim CJ was/is dumb when they have zero experiences to prove otherwise.

Those who think CJ is dumb are not taking his young age into consideration, nor understand his story, otherwise they wouldn't be comparing CJ with Tommy.

Its like comparing an emerging youth who would have chosen to pursue his dreams at his age outside this gangster stuff, instead of learning to deal with unexpected difficulties life throws in his way, with someone like Tommy who at the age of 21 was just thrown into prison to rot.

I think its plain stupidity to compare CJ with Tommy. I mean, If Tommy was so intelligent, then he wouldb't be arrested and waste his life in prison for goddamn 15 years? :blink:

It shows, Tommy was still inexperienced and learned the challenges of being a naive at a similar age just like CJ. By the time he left prison, it already had made an impact on Tommys' life, and thus we can see Tommy in a whole new transformation in the rest of his story becoming the kingpin.

Just like CJ rose to success in the end and became a kingpin in GTA SA.

 

There you go OP. I made it clear and proved who is actually dumb LOL!

Really I don't know who were the people who were calling him dumb, but they were for sure Tommy Vercetti fans, because it was in the Vice City topic. I loved Tommy and the way he wanted to CONTROL everything, but yeah, that thing with the prison - 15 years(how young he was?)

Edited by blackalienHD

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Xing of Virtue

He's a busta. Not a dumb.

 

 

💫

Edited by Xing of Virtue

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Vaulttec

well I would call CJ a smart business man. before you say cjlossantos your wrong here me out. he did do the dirty work like anyone one else would do, but he was smart enough to see the right time to make his move to get what he wanted(the casino job) I can't say I would not do the same thing

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Helegad

Well, none of our protagonists are geniuses, by any means. They're more a bunch of f*ckups with a bad sense of morality, a lust for money, and no scruples with kissing a little ass to get to the top. They get paid thousands and thousands of dollars for each mission, so why not do some dirty work if you are not impeded by the mental struggle between right and wrong? Really, if any of them were any more intelligent, they would sit down and think and talk and make more sensible choices and we wouldn't have a game to play or a story to get involved in.

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lil weasel

anyone who can jump into a Jet Planes cockpit and fly a complicated machine such as the "Hydra" certainly cannot be dumb.

Also, he is what his creator made him. He is programmed (with your help as the player) to do what he does. As is any Video Game Avatar...

 

At the least he does not do the "Circus" acts of many other games. [spring loaded wrist "grabbers", PLEAZE!".

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BlackSnow176

CJ is unexperienced and a bit of a pushover, but overall, by the end of San Andreas, he's as legit as any other protagonist is. Remember, he started out as a simple car thief, unlike other protagonists who were experienced career criminals, have been in prison, in the army or even served at wars.

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

Edited by BlackSnow176

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Miamivicecity

He's not dumb, but his naive nature makes it hard to believe some of the things he accomplished. I feel he should've been in his 30s with some more experience behind him being a career criminal. I can take Tommy seriously when he rules the top of VC's underworld, but CJ? Nah.

 

He's certainly not a dumb ass, but his youthfulness and inexperience get in the way too much IMO.

Edited by PulpFiction

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Osho

He is young and naive because he is meant to accomplish a lot of the things for raising the bar of the GTA series'. I have linked Dan Houser's interview soo many times, and its really sad to see that people still don't get the most important role of San Andreas as a video game even after so many years. :dontgetit::/

I mean, what does GTA III, and IV qualify for the GTA series?

The same logic works in case of SA.

III, IV and SA are the only GTAs with major improvements, and changes.

III qualifies as a symbol for beginning the 3D era.

SA qualifies as a symbol for raising the bar in terms of sheer scale, size and content for the series.

IV qualifies as a symbol for beginning the HD era with a new direction.

I wonder what would happen if they picked a mature, experienced, career criminal, as a symbol for GTA SA and major improvements?

I'd say, the game wouldn't receive a valid praise for being different than what their predecessors had offered, as many changes introduced will mostly raise a dramatic contrast for the character itself unlike what CJ is easily believable as capable for many of those things introduced in the game. For instance, swimming, driving skill, flying skill, shooting skill, etcetra which is unlikely for a mature, career criminal to start from zero experience of improving himself, and makes it even hard for the players to accept more than a younger CJ for the same.

This is more or less imagining either Michael as a playable character for GTA SA over Franklin. It'll add to the disbelief towards the main character as a right choice for the games additional features, and new changes based around an experienced character.

Its hard to believe that Michael in GTA V has to learn certain skills from zero despite a career criminal, and thus it just feels odd and inapproproate for him, which is why the way GTA V handles these skills and stats are not as fun as developing the character like CJ which have all of these variety of stuff integrated so well into his personality, and storyline.

Basically, it's an invalid and unreasonable thought to choose a character with more experience for a game like GTA SA similar to Tommy, because it may lead to drop a range of ideas in order to make it fit properly, and believable that contrast to his age and maturity, than try a different character as a departure from what they have already featured through in the prev. titles of the series.

 

In short, CJ was supposed to serve so many young players back then, as a symbol for the PS2 gen's last mind boggling experience.

To wrap up I will quote certain important observations from this review:

- Main man CJ, it has to be said, is arguably one of the most well-rounded videogame characters ever to grace a screen.

- He's not a one-dimensional caricature of an L.A. gangbanger; he's much more than that. As you spend more time with him and affect his development, you realize that you actually like him.

- Everyone will probably enjoy a unique version of CJ; not only can you alter superficial things like his looks, but you can also build up a huge range of stats based on how you play.

- San Andreas is an RPG. Maybe not the kind you're used to, but an RPG nonetheless.

[ Osho: This is what supports CJ further as a perfect choice for a young, and inexperienced character ]

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Son of Zeus

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

Lol that's funny. Then I wonder why Tommy was thrown into jail, why didn't he just kill the cops who came to arrest him? As for Trevor, why didn't he kill Devin instead of being his bitch and stealing cars with no pay, huh? Why did Michael not kill Steve?

 

Tenpenny wasnt an ordinary cop. No. Dude was the head of CRASH, did you even pay attention? CJ would've been thrown into jail for the rest of his life had he killed Tenpenny.

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Boyz2Society

CJ is unexperienced and a bit of a pushover, but overall, by the end of San Andreas, he's as legit as any other protagonist is. Remember, he started out as a simple car thief, unlike other protagonists who were experienced career criminals, have been in prison, in the army or even served at wars.

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

Umm...not to change your opinion, but CJ was going to get framed for homicide if he didn't do what Tenpenny told him to do, and be honest here. Even if CJ had succeeded in killing Tenpenny, guess where that's gonna land him in. If Sweet couldn't make his way out of prison, what makes you think CJ will have any prospects of getting away with murdering Tenpenny, the leader of C.R.A.S.H.?

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thafablifee46

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

Lol that's funny. Then I wonder why Tommy was thrown into jail, why didn't he just kill the cops who came to arrest him? As for Trevor, why didn't he kill Devin instead of being his bitch and stealing cars with no pay, huh? Why did Michael not kill Steve?

 

Tenpenny wasnt an ordinary cop. No. Dude was the head of CRASH, did you even pay attention? CJ would've been thrown into jail for the rest of his life had he killed Tenpenny.

Lol even if cj had killed tenpenny, he'd probably be murdered by one of tenpennys many associates.Tenpenny was responsible for all the drugs and many being put into people hands. That being said, I dont think cj is dumb at all. In the first part of the story, he has no idea that smoke is playing him and neither did we, so we cant really call him stupid. When he was working for the cia dude , well he had to do that if he wanted to keep his family safe. And im 100% positive he knew tenpenny was shady but what could he have done? Follow the rules or hes going to jail.

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mcorleone_9015

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

Lol that's funny. Then I wonder why Tommy was thrown into jail, why didn't he just kill the cops who came to arrest him? As for Trevor, why didn't he kill Devin instead of being his bitch and stealing cars with no pay, huh? Why did Michael not kill Steve?

 

Tenpenny wasnt an ordinary cop. No. Dude was the head of CRASH, did you even pay attention? CJ would've been thrown into jail for the rest of his life had he killed Tenpenny.

 

 

Pretty much this. Tenpenny was the mastermind of a very influential organization called CRASH, even if CJ managed to kill him (which i doubt it would happen been Tenpenny a really experienced, intimidating and clever cop), he would get jail for the rest of his life, not to mention what could happen to his close ones.

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Fooking Rekt

Not dumb, naive.

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Alexander

He actually learns a lot by the end of the game. I think the experiences in GTA SA helped him to open his eyes. Good that he found true friends.

 

Though the game would've ended within the first 5 minutes of the game had Claude, Tommy, Toni, Vic, Niko, Johnny, Luis, Michael or Trevor were the main protags. They would've simply killed Tenpenny and his posse while still in the car. Especially Tommy and Trevor.

 

Yeah, so after the credits you could have see him in prision. Criminal mastermind right there.

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SmokesWithCigs

he's not dumb he was being blackmailed by tenpenny he had no other choice for his actions. he didn't come back to los santos to turn over a new leaf. he is an unrepentant criminal. he's down for what ever

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Majestic81

I would say that CJ's intelligence is average to say the least. He's not as intelligent as Tommy, but he's also nowhere near as mentally ill as Trevor.

Being mentally ill and being dumb are two different things, Trevor is actually intelligent.

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Thinned Boy
Posted (edited)

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CJ is not dumb, but retarded

BECAUSE HE CAN BE EASILY MANIPULATED

Edited by Thinned Boy
I didn't explain it yet

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TheSantader25
Posted (edited)

The answer is in the mission LURE. 

CJ is a great controller of the situation. He is a good manager. He has a smart mind in terms of coming up with plans for certain situations. But he easily gets manipulated. That's it. Every character in the series has its ups and downs just like CJ does. As an example Trevor is a great manipulator but lacks planning. Exactly the opposite of CJ. 

The dumbest character in the series without a doubt is Vic. 

Edited by TheSantader25

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BLADE_San_Andreas

Tbh if you compare him to other character he's dumb af lol

 

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Skayz
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, TheSantader25 said:

The answer is in the mission LURE. 

CJ is a great controller of the situation. He is a good manager. He has a smart mind in terms of coming up with plans for certain situations. But he easily gets manipulated. That's it. Every character in the series has its ups and downs just like CJ does. As an example Trevor is a great manipulator but lacks planning. Exactly the opposite of CJ. 

The dumbest character in the series without a doubt is Vic. 

No, he isn't. He is just a good guy who has responsiblities and wants to help his family, but he is in a bad men's game (just like Martinez says in the last mission).

 

Anyway, I don't think that Carl is a dumb, or easy to manipulate. He tries to do the best to help his family & friends, in a complicate situation.

Edited by Skayz

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Recommended

Pretty much what a lot have said. He's not dumb, at the same time, he's not a genius either. He has street smarts, that's for sure, and as it should be known, he's black mailed a lot in the game. Tenpenny has him on a leash. Toreno blackmails him as well. I wouldn't say he's easy to manipulate, the problem is those that do blackmail him have something to keep him on a leash over, which most of the time is his Brother.

 

But bottom line: Not dumb, not a genius, but fairly intelligent, and he does mostly have street smarts.

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Evil empire

CJ is a fictional character who does what's written in the scenario.

 

On the other hand Tommy Vercetti isn't represented as particularly clever since you got to pay for the skumhole shack, you always wait for the Haitians to atatck you instead of conquering their turf and need to do all the missions by yourself after buying a company.

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