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CJ and Ryder's relationship was love-hate


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After re-watching the cutscenes of San Andreas, it seems that CJ and Ryder were on-and-off in terms of friendship. I mean while CJ was definitely closer to Big Smoke, he and Ryder seem in odds with each other. While they had their fair share of quarrels, it was really more played for humor if anything. I doubt that Ryder hated CJ or vice-versa. In fact, here are signs showing that each of them had love for each other deep down.


  • During the beginning of the game, CJ walks into Ryder's place telling him that he wanted to see his homie. He even asks him for some homie love.
  • In "Catalyst", Ryder compliments CJ on his efforts and vice-versa.
  • During the mission "Robbing Uncle Sam", CJ and Ryder have some laughs with each other and reminisce on their past.
  • At the mission "Yay-Ka-Boom-Boom", CJ is genuinely upset that he had to kill Ryder and even said out loud that was his homie.


So from what I've garnered in the story, CJ and Ryder had more of a love-hate relationship with each other and I thought that it was much more complex than any other character CJ had any relationship with. It's a shame Ryder had to turn into a traitor though, and I would've love to see how his and CJ's relationship would've evolved if not for Ryder's spontaneous betrayal.

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Spontaneous betrayal? Hahahaha...



By that logic, every other experience in movies about how the characters are seen betraying each others trust would mean that they were not actually traitors, but have a love-hate relationship, and words like duplicity, disloyalty, double cross, and every other synonym have no place in the dictionary, because they "had love for each other deep down", and the inevitable betrayal is just an imagination of the viewer, riiiiight?


Like, seriously, if Ryder gave away all the signs of betrayal, and hate for Sweet, and CJ, right from the beginning, then why the hell would Rockstar put "The Green Sabre" mission in the game, and even bother to create a short film of "The Introduction" that follows up the events before CJ

returned to LS again that shows Ryder had already sold out to drugs, and the hope of getting even more drugs, by joining Big Smoke.


I can understand, if people are unhappy about the fact that Ryder's character was meant to be a "traitor" -- YES, Traitor. No love-hate bullsh*t, but a traitor, plain and simple -- but, to straightaway dismiss all the clear-cut signs of betrayal, calling it love for each other, and friendly humour, nothing else, then I'd say, people don't understand, or lack enough experience to understand how betrayal works in stories, and even in real life.


By being selective, and focusing on a couple of compliments by Ryder here and there, while conveniently ignoring those moments where Ryder left his so-called friend that he had so much love dep doen in the middle of a shootout, doesn't necessarily show his true colours within, because then Ryder would have to stop hiding behind this disguise of a loyal "friend" and "homie love"!!!

Read this: Beta Releases in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas | GTA Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia


It's pretty clear that Ryder wasn't planning on becoming a traitor, but for some reason, R* changed their mind and improvised his betrayal at the last second. Plus the Introduction was made AFTER the release of the game.

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I never felt as if ryder or cj hated eachother i could always tell ryder was just joking and giving cj a hard time even with his personality i would have never expected ryder to betray cj hes not only like that to cj but everybody he hangs around with i honestly think that ryder had no choice but to be a traitor because his character was so street he would have never fit in the later storylines

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I put it down to jealousy. CJ and Ryder were obviously very close at one point, as their conversation in the back yard early in the game shows. CJ and Ryder share memories about school, greeting each other and joking like old friends. I also imagine Ryder is hurt because of how CJ left suddenly, which explains (in part) why he gets such a hard time right off the bat.

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I love this kind of love-hate relationship like in the Spencer-Hill movies or Joe and Tuco in The good, the bad and the ugly. It's just too bad it turns sour so fastly because Rosckstar didn't know what to do with Ryder.

Edited by Evil empire
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I just came across this video - Andreas - In-Depth Analysis of Ryder, and the uploader makes some solid arguments. I'm really forced to think now. Rockstar really f*cked up here. It's the best video I have seen on this subject. Everyone must watch it:



Yeah. I just watched that video. Rockstar had so many great opportunities in this game wasted. It would've been nice if we could see CJ and Ryder's relationship develop throughout the game had the latter not been a traitor.


PS, you should also watch the follow-up of the video.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As someone above had stated, Ryder originally wasn't meant to betray GSF. Actually, he's one of the most loyal members in the gang, before "The Green Sabre". In all of his missions, the goal was to help benefit the gang. Ryder robs/extorts businesses to gain money for he gang, he steals guns from the national guard and an army veteran, he helps CJ clean the streets of drug dealers by raiding the Ballas crack house. Ryder seems to have the task of mostly providing the guns for the gang, and if you get all the tags done in LS, you can actually see the results of that. (GSF members start to carry more stronger weaponry)


Ryder is a childhood friend of CJs, they've probably known eachother for the longest (longer than Big Smoke I imagine), having went to school together. Once Brian died, CJ left to go to Liberty City, abandoning his gang and his family when they needed him most. Because of this, everybody in the gang looks down on him now, and rightfully so. The only person who isn't mad at CJ is Big Smoke, who most likely would have preferred if CJ stayed in LC anyways. This is why Ryder acts so hostile towards him, and it makes even more sense considering how loyal Ryder was to the gang. However despite the tension, Ryder still likes CJ. In one of the early game cutscenes (Can't remember which mission) Ryder was trying to convince Sweet that he could drive "as good as CJ", meaning that he doesn't mean his insults and he actually thinks CJ can drive despite what he tells him.


Ryder is just that one friend we all have, that even though you're close he's still an asshole sometimes.

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Hurt enough to take part in a conspiracy that got CJ's mother killed and so forth :lol:


To be fair, that wasn't actually supposed to happen. They were going for Sweet.


To give my general take, if you look at The Introduction, and then take a look at the mission "Nines and AKs" (where Big Smoke talks about the illusion of choice, and how sometimes you have no choice) you realise that Big Smoke was forced by Tenpenny to betray the gang. Ryder however didn't really have any incentive to betray Grove Street.


Ryder ACCIDENTALLY betrayed Grove Street by taking part in Smoke's drug trade because he thought it would HELP the Grove.


I mean, everything Ryder did was to help out the gang, whether that be obtaining weapons, taking part in drive-bys (Ala the mission "Drive-Thru") or just being a good homie in general. It's pretty obvious that that was what Smoke was playing on him when he convinced Ryder to join him.


CJ and Ryder didn't have a love-hate relationship. Ryder was just hurt by CJ leaving for Liberty City as they were genuinely friends since high school. The fact that Big Smoke didn't seem to have any remorse against CJ showed that he wasn't one to care, and that the Grove really didn't matter to him. As to why Ryder continued to roll with Smoke, I think that he thought that CJ and Sweet were dead and that the Grove was gone. Hence he needed something else to care about, and the money from the drug trade got to him. And then the rest happened.


Ryder is a pretty tragic character, man.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't understand why people even like Ryder anyway. He had done nothing but insult CJ and criticize him. How is that love hate? R* shouldn't have even made that god awful character at all. He ruined the beginning of the game for all of us! The story would've been so much better if Ryder was NOT in the game at all.

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I don't understand why people even like Ryder anyway. He had done nothing but insult CJ and criticize him. How is that love hate? R* shouldn't have even made that god awful character at all. He ruined the beginning of the game for all of us! The story would've been so much better if Ryder was NOT in the game at all.

You gotta remember that Ryder was hurt by CJ leaving Grove Street. Even Sweet was salty because of that but eventually came to trust CJ again. Ryder sadly never got that chance, but still showed that he was true to his homies. I.e that scene at the beginning of Robbing Uncle Sam. As for his driving, I felt like that was more joking around on the players expense (it's really easy to flip your car over in the game :D).

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  • 1 month later...

I don't understand why people even like Ryder anyway. He had done nothing but insult CJ and criticize him. How is that love hate? R* shouldn't have even made that god awful character at all. He ruined the beginning of the game for all of us! The story would've been so much better if Ryder was NOT in the game at all.

WTF. Ryder is one of the most memorable side characters of the series. Don't speak for everyone.


Anyway I was fine with him being a villian (even though clearly it wasn't planned) but he should have gotten a better send off & been mentioned more (Its always all about Smoke instead). He is killed in a lackluster mission and dies in an underwhelming way.

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