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GTA 1 Has Not Aged Well. (+ London 1969 and 1961)


ThermalMoon

Recommended Posts

ThermalMoon

đŸ”„đŸ”„đŸ”„Grand Theft AutođŸ”„đŸ”„đŸ”„

Introduction

I know just reading the title must have you groaning and looking irritated, I know this game doesn't have a good reputation and while it may not be the worst game in the GTA franchise, it has its own issues and needs a bit more appreciation and love. But I want to discuss more of the game's flaws and how the more the game progresses, the more obvious they become. All of this, starts to bubble into a frustrating experience and can even turn off those wanting to experience GTA 1. 

Before I begin breaking down the GTA 1 experience, this topic is aimed at those who have/never have played GTA 1 without save-states. Being more specific, the version of GTA 1 I will be covering is what most other people have played to experience GTA 1; The "Grand Theft Auto: Max Pack". Most people wouldn't mind using save-states because the missions are lengthy and chance of error is likely high without trial and error. Not to mention, you can't even save UNTIL you beat a chapter. And I think that's an understandable decision, when you purchase a game you have the right to play any way you see fit. Wanna beat the game using just cheat codes? Go ahead, no one is stopping you. Wanna beat the chapters just by causing rampages? Whatever man, you do you. But it is important to understand the game through the point of view on how it was meant to be played. And that's how I wanna judge the game in modern 2021 with no nostalgic bias or deep connections to the GTA series. Back on track...

 

The Good
Let me get the positives out of the way, despite 1st game syndrome and most developers wanting to start small, GTA 1 is anything but small. You visit three cities and all of them all large and expansive. Even Vice City is large and diverse, even if it is the "smallest" in the game. I'm very impressed how the names "Liberty City", "San Andreas", and "Vice City" would stick as city names for the rest of the GTA franchise, GTA 1 would truly set the groundwork going forward, Ironic enough, even being the 1st game it got into a little controversy. Funny isn't it? Anyways, the game has a fantastic soundtrack with a nice atmosphere from the decade and the mindset it came from. Sure the dialogue is raunchy and cringeworthy at times, but I also like it and feels like something that wouldn't feel to out of place in the 90's. And hey, I even find it a little humorous here and there. The cutscenes are a nice addition, even if they look a little creepy and unsettling with just their mouths and eyes moving, but it adds to the charm. The graphics are honestly not that bad, I could argue that if you played a SNES game (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) on your modern HD TV or on an emulator, it probably wouldn't look quite as good and be no different than playing GTA 1. And besides, the game has filters to give it a CRT look if you're feeling nostalgic. Hell, I would even argue the 3DFX version is the best way to play, but I suppose that's more of a personal opinion.

 

Otherwise the game plays fine with no issues regarding bugs or glitches. The vehicle's feel good to drive and control, they have their own strengths and weaknesses and the variety for being the 1st game is worthy of applause, some of these vehicle's would even go on to continue in future GTA games. With my personal favorites such as the Beast GTS, Counthash, F-19, Stinger, and too many more to name. The GTA 1 protagonist fit the theme of the game, and you know what? For being the first game, it also includes female protagonists! Sure, in-game there is no difference between the male and female character models, but the diversity is a welcomed one. Oh! I almost forgot, the game can beaten in ANY way you see fit. You don't have to do missions, you can just rampage or grind money by selling cars at the docks. That kind of freedom is very appreciated, especially when you are done with kill frenzy's and mission, but need more points to complete the chapter. So the game get's some bonus points for player freedom. And... Honestly, that's all the positives I can think of. A bit sad I can't mention more positives, because there SHOULD be more reasons to like it. But the game sadly has a lot of flaws that keep from being, at the very least, a "passible" game.

 

The Bad
Alright, so what makes GTA 1 outdated to play? Let's start with the easy bit, the lives' counter. You know what I mean, right? Ever play an old game and for every time you die, your reminded how many lives you have left? Yeah, for GTA 1 this can be a bit of issue. GTA 1 is a long game, you may feel deceit in the points you gain as you play along the game, and once you finish Chapter 1 or 2 of (insert GTA 1 city here) you check the time and realize you been playing for 2-3 hours just having enough points to see the cutscene. The missions are long and sometimes come with multiple acts. So there is nothing worse than being halfway there or trying to earn points and getting a game over because you didn't have enough lives saved. It's aggravating and discouraging seeing the menu screen with the phrase, "tagged and bagged", it is enough to ruin your day and make all that hard earned work go down the drain. I can't necessarily blame GTA 1 for this dated design philosophy, because most games in 1997 were also doing this as they were making a jump to 3D.

On to the next part, the difficulty. Being the fist game, it is expected to be difficult and not as well polished as the games soon to come in the future, but for GTA 1, it is all over the place. If you think about it, the 4 phones you are allowed to choose from in any order you desire, could be seen as a difficulty selection, although you really wouldn't know this without experiencing the mission(s) for the 1st time. The problem isn't the phones, but the chapters. For example, in "Gangsta Bang" I was struggling to find armor around Liberty City and had to explore almost all of the map just to find armor. When I did eventually find armor, it was 3 districts away from me and unless you also brought a pen and paper to write down these locations, you probably wouldn't think to visit there again if you are on another playthrough. So I finish "Gangsta Bang" and then start playing "Heist Almighty", and suddenly there is armor on every city street. What the Hell is this? This is mostly true for every chapter, as chapter 1 will have scarce armor and on chapter 2 it is provided to you if look hard enough, but easier to find. So for the 1st chapter of any city, you will be wasting hours looking for armor and "Get Out of Jail Free Cards". Or, if you don't like to waste time, search up a guide on all items and side mission locations, I wouldn't blame you if you did.

And that was just the armor, I haven't even talked about how the game expects you to survive and kill an entire gang on your own without losing all your armor, or just staying alive and not getting WASTED! How about missions that will give you 4 stars and it's a rush to the Pay N' Spray shop to get your vehicle fixed before it blows from all the abuse it's taken from gunshots and cop cars crashing into you like crazy. And I do mean it, the cars in GTA 1 are fragile. How about missions where you are suppose to predict the future or know about a bunch malarkey that happens and you had no knowledge about. What's that? You didn't KNOW there was a police bribe behind that building you left behind, as you were too busy trying to reach the Pay N' Spray that was too far away to get to? Too bad, sorry you died on the way there. It's just stupid trial and error and requires you to play the chapter a 2nd time just so you are prepared and know what cheap shots the game is gonna pull next.

 

Wanna know when the game starts to go nuts with difficulty? Once you beat "Mandarin Mayhem" and play "Tequila Slammer" from San Andreas, that's when you know the game is about to get insanely ridiculous in terms of difficulty and demanding you play missions without fail. Tequila Slammer has some missions that you are guaranteed to fail and wouldn't pass unless you had prior knowledge of what would have come next. If you have enough patience and determination to pass it, then you unlock the final city, Vice City. And this is where you either continue to play and try as hard as you can to beat it or you give up on the game because of how ridiculously unbalanced the missions are. And I guarantee, there is nothing more frustrating than failing missions in Vice City because you were bamboozled as to what would happen next. And you have NO chance to repeat the mission, UNLESS you start the chapter over from the beginning or you save-stated. God help you if you're a completionist. So what's is left to talk about? How about the cops and the harsh penalty for being arrested. The cops in GTA 1 make the cops in GTA 3 and GTA 5 look like sane human beings. I have never seen this level of aggressiveness since I played Verruckt on Call of Duty: World at War Zombies. They are ruthless and will slam your car every chance they get, and if they aren't doing that, they are trying to catch up to your speed and block your way momentarily so you can crash into their car. And getting a 3 or 4 star is a chance of luck if you survive or not. They create barricades around a 3 to 4 star wanted level and will will shoot at you with their machine guns to blow up your car as fast as possible. Lord forbid you failed to cross, it's an instant WASTED for you. Now, anyone who has EVER played a GTA game knows how annoying it is to be BUSTED and lose some of your money and guns. For GTA 1, they still do that, but they even take away HALF your points multiplier!

For those confused, the points multiplier is that yellow number with an X next it. It is below your lives counter and right next to your in game points, and it is very crucial to keeping it and raising it if you wanna make it far into the game. And nothing hurts my soul more than being BUSTED and watching my 4x multiplier drop to 2x. This is SOME harsh punishment. Imagine if every time you got BUSTED in the 3D or HD era, you lost half your money and items, but you also walked out with only 50% of your health. Sure, it isn't that bad, but that means you will have to refill your HP to full every time this happens, just like how you have work hard AGAIN just get it back to it's original position. It drives me mad! You can avoid losing your stuff and points multiplier if you find a "Get Out of Jail Free Card", but just like armor, good luck finding it.

 

The Ugly
Right, while I'm on the topic of the in game mechanics, let's talk about how your character plays. Your movement on foot is slow and it takes a forever to get anywhere. If you wanna move faster, you'll have to search for "speed up" crates. No matter the chapter, these around hard to find. On the bright side, you will be spending most of your time driving cars, so being on foot won't be too much of an issue, but traffic is. I guess the people at DMA design wanted to simulate a real life traffic jam, if so, mission accomplished. But this comes at the cost of gameplay. There will be times when some missions will put you on a time limit and require you to go fast to get from point A to B, and if they really wanna overdo it, they will add point C and D. The problem isn't necessarily the time limits, it's more of an issue in London 1961, but the fact that you ran into an inconvenient car ahead of you that you simply could not see, because you were rushing past traffic, it already wastes you a few seconds and leads you closer to failing. Now I think it is as perfect of a time to bring up the camera in GTA 1.

 

Not sure why they stuck to this idea, but I guess if you want to see what's ahead you, go faster. This is a terrible mechanic that may or may not cause nausea, asking for the player to speed up to see what ahead of you will often result in crashes with another vehicle or crashing into a building and not being fast enough to turn. Being honest, the camera isn't the problem for me, just the awful traffic. But most player complain about this feature and they aren't wrong for doing so, this mechanic is awful. So what about shooting? You only have the pistol, machine gun, rocket, and flamethrower. The fist can be included to stun enemies, but honestly, when have you ever really used it as a feature, and not to progress the story if asked? The gun variety is weak, but I don't mind it for the 1st game, however GTA 1 also comes with the London expansion packs and it really is disappointing that they didn't add new weapons. That being said, it isn't the guns that infuriate me, it's the shooting that sucks. Trying to be accurate with the pistol or machine gun is a pain in my lower end and will waste you bullets just trying to kill 1 pedestrian or enemy. On the bright side, you have the Flamethrower which makes aim almost non existent, since it replaces the gun at being effective, but lacks the range to kill any farther. Here's the problem, It can be hard to find a flamethrower or rocket launcher in San Andreas or Vice City, unless you're also writing their locations on pen and paper. And the worse part? You won't even be able to keep them when you die. What a tease.

Death in GTA 1 is all too annoying, mostly because a health bar is non-existent in this game. It ends with me always pausing the game and thinking to myself if I wanna continue or quit. I still persisted, at least until I got to Vice City, but that's not the point. Technically, all GTA games do this. However the difference between GTA 1 and future GTA games, is that weapons are saved at the hideout (assuming you are collecting hidden packages), or bought them at an Ammu-Nation store for some dough. Since everything in GTA 1 is hidden behind a box crate, you have no idea what's behind the box. You might get some ammo for your machine gun or be the lucky winner to get ANOTHER pistol for 200th time. It get's ridiculous, because their placement is just terrible and the pistol isn't even that good of a weapon. Wonky as hell hit detection and can't kill unless from a different angle. On the bright side, by Vice City they're almost obsolete. But finding one still makes me groan and waste more time looking for what I actually need.

Here's one of GTA 1's and London's biggest problems, the car damage. I mention briefly how fragile and pathetic the cars are in GTA 1, but it's really hard to tell when the car is ready to explode. There are only 2 signs on when the car is ready to blow up, a scary noise and the car's graphic damage. The noise is easy to tell, if you are wearing headphones that is. But for the most part, if you set the "sound" setting at a decent level or higher than the "music" setting, you should be able to hear it. The damage graphic is harder to see. If you're playing the 3DFX it MIGHT not be that hard to see how damaged the car has become over time, mostly because 3DFX mode doesn't look like a blurry mess. If you are playing this in high or low color mode, then the small detail of the car's damaged graphics can be hard to see, but not impossible. The fragility of the car truly matters when it's a high speed race against the timer or cops, this can make or break a run. But I can tell you this, I don't like it when it puts me in this situation. Some practice should make those tough missions passable on your 2nd or 3rd playthrough, so not a deal breaker, but it can be very frustrating.  
 

Conclusion

I think I said everything I needed to say about this game. It can be inconvenient at times with its items placed in locations you would waste hours looking. The game punishes you harshly for failing a mission or getting caught. And the game is just plagued with terrible difficulty balancing and cheap garbage. I know most of this topic just felt like me beating a dead 20 something year old horse, but its issues are too strong to NOT talk about it. A game this dated can be hard to come back to and I won't deny we have been spoiled with modern game features such as unlimited lives or saving anywhere, it's too much of a luxury to give up and play something that lacks these modern features.

 

I don't want anyone leaving this topic and thinking I wrote this because, "old games bad, new games good". That's a dumb argument, I think some of the games in the past have aged just fine or even better than today. But not all games are created equal, some even age worse than others. I can't say I recommend anyone play this game unless they are a die hard GTA fan or just want to play it with save-states. If you are thinking about playing GTA 1, it is HIGHLY recommended that you have a copy of the game's map. Playing without the map just makes the game frustrating and annoying to play. And if you feel like resorting to a guide, go ahead, I won't shame you for doing so, just remember what you got yourself into. I think the sadder thing about this is that I WANT to like this game. But when I got to Vice City and failed to beat it, I could not go on. Even if I did beat GTA 1, it wouldn't have changed my opinion and everything above still applies. One could even argue GTA 1 is a bad game, although it isn't an unplayable mess, Its just a product of terrible game design of the old days and being the first game of its kind, it's going to suffer from first game syndrome. I don't like writing that statement, but I ain't blind to a game's fault, nostalgia or not.

 

Well, I would say that's the end of the ride, but I also want to talk about the GTA London 1969 and 1961 games. Although they brought barely nothing to the table and don't seem to be talked about too much by GTA fans, I still think they are worth discussing and are even important to the development of the GTA franchise and how DMA would move forward as a company and where they would take the GTA games moving forward. But that topic will have to wait, until next time... Gouranga!

 

London 1961

Introduction
After the initial success of GTA 1, the team at DMA released 2 expansion packs. GTA London 1969 and 1961. My guess is these expansions were for those wanting to crave a little more GTA action before GTA 2 would be released in October of 1999. Kind of crazy if you think about it, they made 3 games in the span of 1 year. Sure, the games were released months apart. But I love when developers go for that extra mile of effort. For the purpose of not making this WALL longer than it needs to be, I shall just address the London games as just London 1969 or London 1961, Sound good? Alright then, let's move on. These 2 games aren't really remembered by GTA fans, especially London 1961 as it was just freeware and could be downloaded on the official website. London 1969 released somewhere in April 1999 and London 1961 being released 2 months after in June. Although not known well in the GTA franchise these games have brought little to the table, but they are still a part of the GTA series and they are important to the future development of the franchise and how Rockstar would move forward. That, and I love the whole 60's aesthetic about both games.

So if London 1969 came first, why aren't I doing that one? London 1961 only has 1 chapter and is much shorter than London 1969, besides, I'm saving 1969 as the "best for last". I wanna talk about this game and move on after, but not without some STRONG choice of words.

 

The Good

What does London 1961 bring to the table? 2 new things and a returning feature from 1969. It is the first game to introduce the drive-by shooting mechanic that would be later be used in GTA 3 and every GTA after that. Its introduction isn't too great if I'm being honest, the shooting in GTA 1 was pretty wonky and had a terrible hit detection, same goes for the drive-by shooting. You got to align yourself just PERFECTLY to shoot your target, this would be pretty bad but at least its used for one mission. Another cool feature introduced is car armor, that's pretty neat, isn't it? But just like the drive by shooting, it's only used for one mission and never after that. You can't even stack car armor with other power ups, mostly because it also shares a slot with the "Get Out of Jail Free Card". I would like to know if the car armor power up still stays on the car even after you upgrade, but I don't like the game enough to find out. If you've played London 1969 or 1961, then you will see cars with different paint jobs. This was the case for GTA 1, but unlike that game, it isn't just some color swap. The cars will come with stripes or checkered patterns, and if the car has this paint job, it may make it (slightly) faster than its normal speed. Small detail, but adds a bit of depth. 

Aside from all of that, there isn't much to add to London 1961 aside from the 7 new missions. It re-uses its textures and sound from London 1969. Which used the same engine as GTA 1, with a small bit of tweaking. Tweaks include the removal of cop barricades and different car traffic AI, but the awful camera from GTA 1 stays. You still have to speed up to see what's ahead of you. Seeing as this is London, all cars drive on the opposite side of the road. Even the music from London 1969 is reused for 1961, creating a weird pseudo-past that has future music that wasn't released around that time. Speaking of, the vehicle's used in 1961 are scrapped cars that couldn't make it to 1969, so they were used here. even if the cars in London 1961 are just reskinned 1969 cars. If you look at the vehicle's graphics and compare it to their real life inspirations, you notice that the cars in 1961 aren't even in their proper time period. It doesn't ruin the game, but if your a car enthusiast, it might be hard not to notice. One more thing to note, since this is London set in the 1960's, everyone talks with a cockney accent. This adds flavor to both 1969 and 1961 and makes for a funny playthrough, even in 1961's case. Otherwise, I guess the team must have been rushed for time, combine that with working on GTA 2 and I guess the care for London 1961 was put on the wayside. So why do I hate London 1961 so much?

The Ugly... Yep, we're just going there.

Good lord, where do I even begin? Ok, let's start with missions and difficulty. GTA 1's difficulty was all over the place in Liberty City and San Andreas's "Mandarin Mayhem", after that, the game goes nuts and expects perfection out of you. While the difficulty wasn't perfect, I wouldn't say the game was outright cruel and unfair. It may have wanted perfection, but it wasn't sadistic. London 1969 was the total opposite and its missions were very easy with 1 or 2 mission exceptions. But even if you failed one mission, the next one would be just as beatable. I guess the developers thought the same too and decided to make one of the most frustrating, infuriating, and down right blood boiling GTA game's I have ever played.

Harold is one strict SOB and was really harsh on recruitment day, no wonder he would become more laid back in 1969. The missions in London 1961 are VERY cruel and will always want you to finish a mission within a limited amount of time. One mission will want you to drive to the other side of the map in less than a minute, the next may want you to kill a certain number of people and drive back to who knows where, all within the same time limit. Who the bloody hell thought this was a good idea? I get 1969 wasn't so hard, but adding a timer to EVERY mission doesn't make it "fun" difficult, it makes it "god I can't wait to put this game down" difficult. At least the vehicles are up to speed with London 1961's ridiculous time limits. Oh I should mention, the scrapped cars that were used for 1961 have seen to been juiced up WAY too much. Combine this with the tight timers and awful camera and you have a recipe for disaster. And since half the missions require you to go at the speed of sound, you better get used to the game's fast pace real quick. Otherwise, you're in for a VERY rough learning curve. On top of that, no matter what mission you pick, they are all as equally difficult. There is no such thing as "easy" mission, and you aren't guaranteed to pass them all in one playthrough. Don't think kill frenzy's,(later called rampage's in the series), are going to save you either. The Kill frenzy's are just as strict and absolutely REQUIRE a high points multiplier to pass them, so you can forget about them too. To give GTA 1 some credit, at least when I replayed a mission on my 2nd or 3rd playthrough, I had a bit of fun. From a game design point of view, it's still bad design, but at least I had fun replaying with previous knowledge and better ways of handling the missions.

You can't even PREPARE in 1961. In GTA 1, all you had to do was grab armor, machine gun ammo, a fast car, and a "Get Out of Jail Free Card". That means NOTHING in 1961, mostly because half the missions are JUST driving, so it's pointless to grab them. Let me make it even more pointless, you're just gonna fail 99% of the missions anyways, so why even bother preparing? In my GTA 1 I already complained about the bad traffic, the same applies for the London games, but its worse in London 1961 because the missions are so demanding with their damn time limits, so you can imagine how frustrating this can be. I know reading this seems very pessimistic, but London 1961 has only 7 missions, you can't mess up all of them and still expect to see the end cutscene. The only way to beat the game is just PURE practice. The alternative is to beat the mission you can, grab the 2 bonus points multipliers on the map, and sell the cars you can find. That might be the only way you can see the cutscene, but that isn't really beating the way it was intended, was it? If you want to save yourself a headache, just use save-states, it will make the game less of a pain. oh, and try not to get NICKED or WASTED, getting either of those insta-fails the missions, and failure is NOT an option.

 

Wanna know what the worst mission is? It won't just test your determination, it will also test your patience and how far are you willing to go to beat 1961. I will put a spoiler for this if anyone wants to try beating this on their own. Otherwise, good luck.
 

Spoiler

When you answer the phone on the far right, Harold asks of you to remove Poundage Fern, a race car driver, out of the race. you will be asked to kill one of Poundage Fern's bodyguards or whatever it means in British slang. When you get try to get out the car, he will be too fast to kill, so they ask you to drive north and grab a car with drive-by shooting capabilities. I already mention how the drive-by shooting felt like p!ss and had the awful hit detection of the pistol, So I won't go into detail about it again. Anyways, after failing for the 50th time and getting a successful kill on your 51st, you are then asked to kill Fern's other bodyguards. By the way, try to keep the car alive when driving to the bodyguards, killing that 1st bodyguard will tipoff the police and keeping the car is necessary until you kill one of the five bodyguards. Once you kill one of them, you can get rid of the car if you like. Killing all five on your 100th try, you will then be asked to drive a Ferocious 312 sports car, equipped with a rocket launcher and all, and kill Fern with it. This is probably the part where you will feel the urge to suplex your PC into a barb-wired pit filled with radioactive toxic waste, but if you can beat this part without rage quitting, then the game will ask 2 more request. After killing Fern on your 269th try, Harold will ask you to still finish the race and collect the trophy. I would think that's where the game will end things, but it still has the AUDACITY to ask you to bring the trophy back to Harold's place, and assuming you can avoid the law, it will beat the mission. At least there isn't a time limit when going back to Harold's place, I'm surprised honestly, because this game adds a frickin' time limit to everything.

 

There is one final thing I would like to leave before heading to the conclusion. London 1961 shows just how fast it was rushed, it's a surprise NO ONE on the team caught this. But then again, this expansion pack was made in 2 months, so I'm not entirely surprised. There is a glitch in London 1961 that involves a side mission that will take you to the summary screen, like you decided to quit on the spot. To save you the trouble, it's in North Camden Town were a TV Van is parked in an alley. If you do this side mission, (which I won't spoil), then it automatically takes you to the summary screen with no warning. It doesn't say the phrase "Good job lad, we're over the moon with you." That only shows up when you see the cutscene, instead it just says the same thing you would see when you quit the game, "Had enough?" So I can only conclude that this game was so rushed, that they didn't even play test one of their side missions. What other explanation is there? The other explanation could be that the Max Pack is somewhat broken. otherwise, my point stands.

 

Edit: Ok, so I just came across a version of London 1961 for windows that doesn't have the TV Van glitch like on the GTA Max Pack version for DOSBOX. So I guess if you want to play that version, then you the Wayback machine is your friend, then apply a no CD-Crack to 1961. Why all that trouble? because having London 1969 for windows is almost impossible. You could get GTA 1 and London 1961. If anyone knows where you could get a copy of London 1969 for windows, please let me know to update this.

 

Conclusion

I would just advise sticking to London 1969 or even playing GTA 2, because London 1961 is just way too hard to play. This isn't a case where a game has aged badly, this is a case where a game has poor difficult design. This game has some of the worst missions in the entire GTA series and might be the worst GTA game, there is no contest. Not even GTA 1 GBC, GTA 2 GBC, or GTA Advance could top 1961. Anyways, if you are going to beat it, the best advice I can give you is to just "git gud", stay determined, and have PLENTY of patience. And if you can beat this game or even 100% it, then you are not only on top of the world, but over the moon as well. After beating London 1961, you will be ready for GTA 2 and anything that comes after. But for causal gamer, you can skip 1961. Until next time... Keep London tidy!
 

London 1969

Introduction

Last but not least, I have saved the best game for last. I've already explained how London 1969 and London 1961 came to be, so I'll paraphrase it and shorten it a bit. London 1969 was released as the 1st expansion to GTA 1, with London 1961 being released 2 months later as freeware. Both London games were released for those still waiting for the upcoming GTA 2 and with something to sink their teeth in. I'll be looking at London 1969 as the final game related to GTA 1. Since I already covered London 1961, everything I said almost applies here so I'll make this a short bittersweet retrospective. That and to close off this WALL for good.

 

The Good

The game can be summarized as just a reskinned GTA 1 set in London during the late 1960's, that's really all I can say about it. You still have your bomb shops and spray shops. The weapons, graphics, and characters are all reskinned. It still runs in the GTA 1 engine with the removal of police barricades and change to AI car traffic. It has 2 chapters less than GTA 1 and more than London 1961. The only things new in London 1969 are the missions and vehicles, the vehicles in particular feel good to drive. So if there isn't anything interesting in London 1969 does that mean you shouldn't bother with it? Yes and no. Make no mistake, you could skip London 1969 and not miss anything, but what you would miss out is on an experience. Although I regurgitated everything from London 1961, London 1969 still has one thing over it that both GTA 1 and London 1961 lack, and that's casual fun.

London 1969 is pretty easy, so easy in fact, that you could beat all chapters in a day. The chapters are somewhat short and don't have 15+ missions with multiple acts. Best of all, they aren't a gruel to finish and don't require stupid trial and error to beat. Even if you fail one or two missions, the next one will be just as easy as the previous. If you wanted to play something casual without the brutal difficulty, London 1969 is the game for you. Don't mistake me, London 1969 still wants you paying a bit of attention, or you might just find yourself NICKED, but for the most part, it's a pretty relaxing game. And really, there isn't much else to say for the "good". Is there anything worth disliking?

 

The Bad, because there is no ugly

The easier difficulty could be considered a strength and a weakness. While 1969 doesn't hold your hand, it can be a turnoff to other players wanting a better difficulty balance than what was offered in GTA 1. And even though that game got a few things wrong, the difficulty up until "Tequila Slammer" and afterwards, was tamed. Honestly, if they could have tweaked those missions a bit more, it would have been the best of worlds. It wouldn't have been as brutal as London 1961, but it wouldn't have been as easy as London 1969. GTA 2 would be that "best of both worlds" bunch later on, even with it's own problems. But I'm getting off topic. London 1969 really doesn't offer any challenge, so medium or hard difficulty players may be disappointed. So yeah, if you don't like easy games because they are too boring to sit through, then this may be a strong reason to skip London 1969. Another bad thing can be considered that both 1969 and 1961 are impossible to play in modern day 2021. Unless you still have your PC from the 90s, it's likely most people don't have any means to experience either game, so their options are buying an old PC or playing the Max Pack. But I don't think some mind playing GTA 1 and the London expansions on DOSBOX, unless you like to play them on your authentic Windows 98 with the authentic video game copies of GTA 1 and London 1969, 1961 just being freeware you can download from the Wayback machine. But again, that's just a personal choice. Another small problem that could be considered are the easy to beat kill frenzy's. It requires so little points to beat them and you don't even need to beat any missions to get an advantage. They will ask for about 300 or 400 points around there to beat them. Otherwise, I don't really see any glaring flaws with London 1969.

 

Conclusion

The game can a mixed bag to those looking for casual play or just a challenge. I still say you shouldn't sleep on London 1969 and its rich gameplay. But to be fair, the choice is up to those looking for these type of games. Until next time... Keep London Tidy!

 

And That's a rap. I talked about all three games, not including GTA 2, and finished all of them with (mostly) no problem. Ironically, I had more to say towards GTA 1 and London 1961, but found myself short in 1969. Ain't that funny? There is still one more thing before I can truly end this, and I call that, "Closing thoughts".

 

Closing Thoughts

Hey everybody, assuming your still reading and sat through this sloth of a topic, I want to thank you for taking the time to read GTA 1, but also London 1969 and 1961. Truth be told, this is the first time I wrote something like this out of passion. I write stuff like this when I'm doing class projects or something. But this time I wrote about a topic I felt strong emotions towards. I hope you liked it as much as I did. The only thing I can do now is ask you one thing, and just one favor. If you find any grammatical errors or feel like my topic needs re-adjustment, feel free to let me know in the comments. Although this topic is (sadly) very much finished, I will occasionally come back here to fix any issues. Thanks for the likes and feedback, have yourselves a great evening, and take care.

Edited by ThermalMoon
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I think the big misconception about older games is how people feel it's necessary for them to age well. Some video games do better at this than others, but I don't think this is a fault of the game itself or even the developers. In my opinion, if it did something well then it doesn't really matter. I used to be a bit of a silent critic so I know what it's like to hold something to a ridiculously high standard for almost no reason. Thing is, most (if not all) games I play now are considered old and out of date. GTA1 is a solid example of how it is so tempting to look at how far things have come. You can't help but judge it through these lenses. I'm not going to necessarily disagree with you, as I do think GTA1 is a shoddy game. So is GTA2 to an extent. Video games of the 1990s had a wicked tendency to be punishing, difficult and downright unfair. You can blame the industry and system limitations for that. Many developers were trying to find what worked, learning as they went and for the most part, they tried to deliver the best experience they could with what they had.

 

GTA1 is a difficult, unfair game. We don't know how good we have it with the modern titles, even for all their issues and the gripes that people have spent the best part of a decade bickering over. Prior knowledge was almost a prerequisite for games like GTA1, but there are heaps of other games across every system around at the time that forced players down this road. Unfortunately, the "pick up and play" element was a little while off thanks to loading times, hardware limitations and dawdling save mechanisms, that is if you were lucky enough to get a save option worth it. Playing older games sometimes feels like work, and that I suppose is part of the charm. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just trying to offer some justification. The punishments for getting arrested for example, they are harsh and they're demotivating enough to make you want to throw in the towel altogether, but this is their first go at things. If we didn't have almost 25 years of progression to look at, we wouldn't know any different.

 

You want to know the worst bit about GTA1 for me? The camera when you're driving. It's impossible to see. Can you imagine trying to play top-down now? I recently fired up III and tried playing with this camera mode, something I feel is included as a nod more than anything else. It's absolutely torture. I can tell you this because I'm so used to driving with the view we have. If the series would have ended at GTA2, we wouldn't know any better and the game would just be considered hard. GTA1 has not aged well, no, but that doesn't take anything away necessarily.

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Yeah the early GTA games were really difficult but dang, for what it is the game is 20-odd years old so credit where credit's due to the folks at DMA design. 

I had a lot of fun with it back in the day

Edited by vcfan1991
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ThermalMoon

@Rhoda How surprising, I found a MOD in my topic for the first time. Truly this is a first 😊😊😊. (Please don't take this statement as me disrespecting you or something, I don't know how else to word, " I found someone of high honor and rank in my topic and I feel happy for it".)

I don't necessarily dislike the game because I hold it to a higher statement, It's just that these problem have made the game hard to revisit to and be played by newcomers. I understand it's a product of its time and that it is the 1st GTA game, but those statements can only shield a game like this so far. Its problems are too hard not to ignore by modern standards. My favorite Mega Man game is Mega Man and Bass and I know it shares the same problems as GTA 1, but the difference is in length and difficulty. I suppose it isn't fair to compare a 2D game to a 2D top down view game with more content than a SNES game. Who knows, with time I might even regret making this topic and appreciate GTA 1 a lot more. Although I have stopped at Vice City, I'm still hopeful to beat it.

Also, I updated the description a bit more. It's still same, but I talked a bit more in detail about the mechanics and proofread it this time to its entirety. So this topic is officially complete, but I have no idea if I structurally corrected it.

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Damn, I didn't even know. When I was playing Grand Theft Auto 1 on my PlayStation 1 more than 15 years ago I was just messing around. I thought that it was the best game ever, and that I could do whatever I wanted. I even roleplayed in that game.

 

Then I moved to Grand Theft Auto 2, which is much more playable, even though I prefer the Grand Theft Auto 1's settings. 

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I played GTA 1 last year and I really enjoyed it, however, it's definitely not for everyone. What you say is absolutely correct about the difficulty. I will say that I didn't have too much trouble with either Liberty City portion, but the San Andreas and Vice City parts are really hard, and you're right, there s a lot of trial and error involved. Now, I was playing in better conditions than most. I played the Windows version on a Windows 98 SE PC (so no save states, and I didn't use cheats), and I had the full-size maps from the big box original release of GTA 1. These really helped with finding the best or shortest route to different locations. The one saving grace for the Vice City levels is that it's at least completely open-world (aside from one mission in Rasta Blasta) so you can do whatever mission you want. I finished only enough missions to finish the level. I did not beat all of the missions in any level.

 

You're right that the game is really exploration-heavy. If you don't explore to find armour, guns, kill frenzies, extra lives and mission multipliers, you're going to have a really hard time. I printed out maps of the city (as I didn't want to write on my official maps), took a pen and marked off the location of every single item that I found, and what it was. Then I printed out maps with more clearly marked in items, one for armour, one for machine guns, etc. Again, this isn't for everyone. I'm glad that they didn't do this for later games, as having to comb the city for items in every game would be really annoying. Here is my initial map for Rasta Blasta. You can't really see the marking, but you can see the descriptions (shortened, so mg = machine gun, for example):

 

AkZcrJ5.jpg?1

 

This meant that I didn't have nearly as much of a problem with getting busted, as I knew where the Get Out of Jail Free cards were, and I was never without one. Death was still a problem, but at least my mission multiplier remained intact, and I was able to look at my map and get armour and a machine gun again before trying again or trying another mission. 

 

I didn't have much of a problem with the police at three stars. They have roadblocks, but only shoot with pistols. Four stars was another story though. I learned to avoid main roads as much as possible at four stars, as they don't block smaller roads. This was especially important in Vice City, where missions like to throw four stars at you after completing part of a mission. Again, the maps were crucial here, as I was always able to plot the best route to a Pay n' Spray.

 

I agree with you about the weapons. The pistol is common but useless. I barely ever hit anything with it. The flamethrower is great but rare, especially in Rasta Blasta. The rocket launcher is great for vehicles, but you have to be careful not to kill yourself with it. The machine gun was the weapon of choice for killing people, with the occasional use of the flamethrower. I also found that sometimes you have to think outside the box a bit. For example, there is a mission in Rasta Blasta where you have to kill a man who gets into a limo. The problem is that he's surrounded by guys with guns and you get a two-star wanted level. I was going to skip this mission until I found that you can enter kill frenzies during missions. There's a remote control car kill frenzy just below the man's starting position, so I just started that, drove the RC car up to the man (they don't shoot at it), and exploded it, getting the mission and kill frenzy in one go.

 

So even though I enjoyed it, I can't really disagree with most of you said. The game hinges on exploration really, and if that's not for someone, then neither is this game, at least not beyond Liberty City. One thing I would like to ask is, did you play with an official map next to you? If not then you didn't really play it as intended, as the game assumes that you have the map. If you played without a map I can only imagine that the game would be frustrating beyond belief. I was constantly referring to it for the best routes.

 

If you haven't tried it, I would recommend playing GTA: London 1969. It has the same structure, but I found it to be much more forgiving. I didn't have to comb the city for items before doing missions. For what it's worth, I also had the full-size map for this game. It helps that they seem to have recognised the weak shooting system of GTA 1, as most of the missions focus on driving rather than shooting. In many respects it feels like an apology for the later portions of GTA 1 for those that found them too hard (also it's the first game that Dan Houser wrote the script for!).

 

London 1961, of course, has a reputation for legendary difficulty, and for good reason. Five of its seven missions have ridiculous time limits that you're never going to get on your first try. I'd compare them to Supply Lines in San Andreas PS2 v1. They're obviously not tested properly, which is probably because it was a free download. Eventually I beat four missions for £70,000 and, with the help of a mission multiplier, blew up cars to get the remaining £30,000 to get to £100,000 and get the cutscene.

Edited by jm-9
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ThermalMoon
Posted (edited)

@jm-9 Yes, I have played GTA 1 with a printed copy of the city maps. It definitely makes the experience MUCH better and helped me find ways to outsmart the police sometimes, I can't imagine anyone playing the 2D games without a map. It's just TOO crucial. But It wouldn't have fixed the game, since I was still given a hell of a time by the game. I did write points of interest like you did whenever I found a gun or item, but I stopped when I started to feel like I was doing school work rather than play a game. I know it would have been a smarter decision if I kept writing, but I didn't want to stay an extra hour just pausing the game and writing the street I found the gun or item in. I know this game design was also common for older games in the 80's and 90's, and it would faze out in the early 2000's. Some games were about secrets and word of mouth, maybe that's the reason why most game guides existed. Again, you can blame modern gaming for making me spoiled and doing this kind of stuff for me. Regardless, I remain my stance on the game, even if time will make me softer for it. Because knowing me, I like games that most people don't.


I know London 1969 is much easier in comparison and doesn't have as much BS as GTA 1. However my problem with London 1969 is that it's too easy and has no real challenge, aside from 1 or 2 missions. Does this mean it's a bad game? Of course not. I don't mind if a game is easy, as long as it has redeeming features about it. And hey, if someone wanted to be introduced to the 2D universe, 1969 would not be a bad choice. But GTA 2 might be a better pick since it isn't an expansion pack. But I can see myself coming back to London 1969 more than GTA 1, mainly because I'm a sucker for older time periods and the easier the gameplay. I have not touched London 1961, but I know it has a reputation for being the hardest GTA game, but I somehow looking strangely forward to it? I don't know. In any case, learning from your perspective on GTA 1 has given me hope for revisiting the game again at some point.
 

P.S. I might add more to the WALL, I will be revisiting this topic a bit more to edit anything else regarding GTA 1 and the London expansions. I wonder if the MODS will contact me to stop? Mostly because it already exceeds 5 pages. Oh, and I finally beat Bent Cop Blues, Rasta Blasta will probably take a while to beat. Cheers to that.

Edit 1#: I've beaten Rasta Blasta. Henceforth I am FINALLY done with GTA 1. I know GTA 1 doesn't have a story, like, at all. But I imagine your character, whoever you chose, goes to London to retire there. Speaking of which, I got 1969 to play. Beating it will be added to the WALL of text. Maybe.

 

Edit 2#: Finished GTA London 1969 yesterday. Real fun game, if a little too easy. I hope 1961 expands on the gameplay and tweaks it to be slightly more difficult without going nuts like GTA 1 after Mandarin Mayhem from San Andreas.

 

Edit 3#: Finally finished GTA London 1961, even though I always felt the strong urge to turn my laptop into a nice coffee table, I kept playing to the point where I finally "beat" it. I put it quotes because eventually the game decided just boot to summary screen and not even let me watch the cutscene. So not feeling like doing all that hard work again, I decided to put in a cheat just so I could see the end cutscene. That's my version of "beat" it, because the thought of continuing to replay London 1961 to perfection, makes me sick to my stomach.

Edited by ThermalMoon
One of my greatest achivements.
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The best (and only) bit I remember from GTA London was the soundtrack.

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@ThermalMoonIronically this is one of only three GTA games that didn't have a dedicated official guide (the others being London 1961 and GTA Advance). I agree that GTA London isn't a bad first 2D Universe game, but yeah, GTA 2 is probably better. At least you can save between missions, and while it also gets really hard, Downtown is fairly easy.

 

I can't think of too many games like this where secrets and open-world are concerned. The only one that comes to mind is the original Legend of Zelda on NES. That game is far more obtuse though (burning specific bushes when there's loads of them that look exactly the same on every screen, bombing specific sections of wall that look exactly the same as the other sections). The developer of that game did state that the idea was to play the game 'collaboratively' through people sharing secrets with each other. While I've never heard the developers of GTA 1 say anything like that, it's possible that that aspect is missing today.

 

I'm actually the same. Even though I enjoyed GTA 1, I'm not sure I could ever see myself playing through it again. I would like to go back and play the missions I didn't play, but that would be with a view to completing them individually, not caring about the amount of money I have. For full disclosure, I should say that I played the Liberty City and San Andreas portions of GTA 1 in 2016, before I was sidetracked and lost my save file. Maybe that's why I didn't mind it as much, because I was already semi-familiar with the San Andras portion. I could definitely see myself playing London 1969 again though. That's a great game, albeit perhaps a bit easy, as you said.

 

Congratulations on beating Bent Cop Blues. That's not an easy task by any means. For what it's worth I didn't find the missions in Rasta Blasta to be any harder. You do need $5,000,000 to leave the level, but whenever you start the level, you play the same easy first mission, which at least gives you some money and bumps your mission multiplier up to two. A hint by the way: look on the rooftops for mission multipliers. If you want to skip combing the city for items, just download the images pack here. I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for doing so, and it allows you to get to the action straight away. Note that some items don't appear until you've started or beaten certain missions. It'll also show you where the secret missions are, of which I found one in Bent Cop Blues but didn't find any in Rasta Blasta. These will increase your choice of missions to get to $5,000,000 from twelve to fifteen (along with the first mission you start doing).

 

Good luck with Rasta Blasta and London 1961 (you'll certainly need it for the latter)!

Edited by jm-9
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I liken my experience to GTA1 these days (when I do go back and have a little play of it) much to a coin-operated arcade machine. It is much more just a mayhem vs. points game, and usually these days to also experience that ever important feature of all GTA games, the soundtrack. In fact, I held this same view when I played it in 1997 on my family's old TINY pc that you had to hotwire to start. (busted ON button - early techno-days) 

Extra thoughts DLC: 

Spoiler

I think it hasn't aged too badly, and if they ever do something with it in the future it would be awesome to see a myriad of across the pond GTA features added to it with more mayhem, more exploding scores, more GOURANGA! and such and such. I'm err... Kind of thinking along the lines of how NAMCO over-produce new PACMAN games.
Giving it fast paced on foot shooting segments ALA Hotline Miami would be cool too.

 

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You know, I hadn't even thought of it before you mentioned it @Mikeol1987 but it is very similar to Hotline Miami, all the way down to the aesthetics (albeit rudimentary) and presentation. I can certainly see a remaster going in this direction if it ever came to fruition. Hey, the game will turn 30 years old in 2027. Who knows? It might get released alongside yet another version of GTA V...

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Just reached San Andreas. Not touching the game ever again once I've finished it (if I get to finish it beforehand)

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  • 4 weeks later...
ThermalMoon

Bump!

Aside from a bit of fact checking, I added the London games into the mix and this topic should FINALLY be over. I may still revisit just to proofread or grammar check, but otherwise it's fine. I'm done.

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On 4/14/2021 at 11:44 PM, ThermalMoon said:

Bump!

Aside from a bit of fact checking, I added the London games into the mix and this topic should FINALLY be over. I may still revisit just to proofread or grammar check, but otherwise it's fine. I'm done.

Congratulations on beating the London games. I completely agree. London 1969 is a really fun game that I could definitely see myself returning to again. London 1961 is different to say the least. It's easily the hardest game in the series. It was unfortunate that you got the summary screen without the cutscene. All that hard work for nothing. I wonder if it's a problem with the Max Pack? Unfortunately the only way to find out would be to find someone else who beat London 1961 on the Max Pack, which mightn't be easy.

 

I did appreciate that they mixed things up a bit with the armour shop and sometimes giving you more armour than was possible in GTA 1 and London 1969. I also liked the return of the speedup powerup, which was absent since finishing Liberty City in GTA 1. The unique map based on Manchester in multiplayer was also a welcome addition, even if you can only play Deathmatch mode. I also thought that two of the game's seven missions were also okay, as they didn't feature the game's trademark crazy time limits.

 

There are a few things I'd be interested in:

 

Did you find either of the two mission multipliers? Also, did you get ÂŁ100,000 by beating missions alone, or did you have to do what I did and get some of it another way? I did beat every mission, just not in the same playthrough. And yes, I felt exactly the same ad you did when playing it.

 

Finally, what was the hardest mission for you? For me it was the right-most phone where you have to kill a racer and finish the race. It seemed that the time limit to get to the racer was too short, and impossible with heavy traffic. I think I ended up grabbing the speedup powerup on the way to him without slowing down eventually, which definitely helped.

 

I also appreciate the writeup. I like seeing other's views of games that I've played, and that's a rare thing for GTA 1, even moer so for London 1969 and especially London 1961.

 

Anyway, congratulations! There aren't too many who can say they've legitimately beaten GTA 1 and London 1961. If you haven't played it I would strongly recommend GTA 2. It also gets very hard at times, but you can at least save between every mission (as long as you have $50,000, which you will have every time after the first few missions). It also has a number of improvements, such as a health bar, respawning health and armour next to every phone, more weapons and auto-aim (not like GTA III, but it happens automatically to a certain extent). It's also the first game to properly feature the series' trademark humour.

Edited by jm-9
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ThermalMoon

@jm-9 Yeah, I beat GTA 1 and the London expansions. GTA 1 and London 1961 wasn't very easy, especially London 1961 just trying to perfect the missions. The TV Van side mission is the only glitched mission in DOSBOX that sends you to the summary screen. But the windows versions of London 1961 works perfectly with no problems, I already mentioned it the topic.

On 3/10/2021 at 9:57 PM, ThermalMoon said:

Edit: Ok, so I just came across a version of London 1961 for windows that doesn't have the TV Van glitch like on the GTA Max Pack version for DOSBOX. So I guess if you want to play that version, then you the Wayback machine is your friend, then apply a no CD-Crack to 1961. Why all that trouble? because having London 1969 for windows is almost impossible. You could get GTA 1 and London 1961. If anyone knows where you could get a copy of London 1969 for windows, please let me know to update this.

The only problem I have with that version is no 3DFX. But that's petty and I don't care too much about it, that aside, the windows version is the way to go... Assuming you have a good PC and not a crappy intel laptop like me. 

 

Regarding your question on the bonus multipliers, yes I know where they are for London 1961. Although I could never get the 2nd one in Camden Town to spawn. As for missions, I did all of them and the side missions. Again, I'm aware of the kill frenzy's, rampages, keep London tidy, and selling cars at the docks, but I didn't do that. Even if I did, it probably would be for some side challenge that I did for GTA 1, which is to rack up 10 million points. In the London's games case, it would have been 1 million points. it would have helped, but because I would rather do ANYTHING else than play London 1961, I didn't.

 

The hardest mission would DEFINITLY be from the phone on the far right in London 1961. The part where you have to blow up that other guy's car and not blow yourself up or miss  within a strict time limit is ridiculous. Save states make for perfect practice, but I value the honor of playing a game the way it was intended, so you can guess how frustrated I was. But I guess there is no use ranting now, I'm done with the game so I should move on.

 

GTA 2 will probably be waiting for quite a while. I want to play it along with the future games later on, but sadly my gaming PC is being held hostage by my friend. Mostly because there is no room in my apartment to put it in, among other things. This laptop is fine... but it also sucks. So yeah, I won't moving up for a while. So yeah, GTA 1 is all I have to work with, that and GTA 3, but I didn't spend enough time with it to come to a proper analysis. And hey, now that I beat GTA 1 and the London expansion games, they have given me a new perspective on the GTA franchise. I'm more hyped to understand them on a different level. 

 

Since GTA 2 will be on a very extended vacation, I will still stick with GTA 1 and the London games, but this time I wanna find out how to get the multiplayer setup. Once I accomplish that, I guess I'll still be waiting things can be a bit more stable, that and I can get a bigger place. I mean for Christ sakes, DOOM 2016 is still sitting in my Steam Library with 0 playtime. I wanna play it so bad.

 

Thanks for reading my wall of a topic. Oh, and I found this very interesting on your topic.

Quote

 

I've commented before here about GTA and the London games having problems on Windows 10. Myself and others have had problems where the game has a low frame rate in 16-bit colour, and hangs when you switch to 32-bit colour. Recently I got a new PC, installed the latest version of Windows 10 , and decided to try out GTA 1. As expected, it has a low frame rate in 16-bit colour, but amazingly it ran perfectly when I switched to 32-bit colour. This goes for the original version of GTA 1, London 1969, London 1961 and the Rockstar Classics version of GTA 1, all of which had problems on my old PC.

 

I don'y know why it worked. I had an AMD graphics card in my last PC and have an Nvidia one in my new PC. Maybe that's the difference? I don't even get the blinking screen I often got in my old Windows 7 laptop. Anyway, I'm not complaining!

 

I do wonder why it's like that? Do you think it may have to do with your last PC's specs? I'm not too sure myself, since I'm also a newbie on PC's.

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@ThermalMoon That's unfortunate. If I remember correctly, the TV van mission was one of the two that didn't have a ridiculous time limit. Further evidence for its rushed development can be found in the languages. Unlike the two older games, GTA: London 1961 only supports English. In the DOS settings program (K_61.exe), you can select between English and a blank white flag. If you select the white flag, the game crashes when you try to launch it, apparently looking for a language file that doesn't exist. So it really wasn't properly polished.

 

Unfortunately my former laptop is now dead, but from what I recall, these were its specs:

  • Model: Dell XPS 15 (bought new in 2014)
  • Operating System: Originally Windows 8.1 Professional, then Windows 10 Professional
  • CPU: Intel i5 (I know this is vague, but I can't remember any more)
  • GPU: AMD Radeon M265
  • HDD capacity: 1TB
  • 8GB RAM

In both the original disc version and the Rockstar Classics version, if I set it to 16-bit colour, the frame rate was really bad and half the screen was flashing and discoloured. If I set it to 32-bit colour, the screen would go blank. I couldn't quit either, so it looks like the game hung. Every version has been perfect in my new laptop, once I set it to 32-bit colour. I still get the low frame rate in 16-bit colour, but not the discoloured, flashing screen. It's weird. Still, it shows that there is hope for playing the Windows version on modern PCs.

 

Regarding the different Windows versions, they are as follows. In 1997, GTA 1 was released, It contained both the DOS and Windows versions, and both versions were installed when you installed the game from Windows. This came in a big box, with a CD in a jewel case inside. In 1999, GTA: London 1969 was released, also in a big box. This requires GTA 1 to be installed. Later in 1999, GTA: London 1961 was released digitally. It requires both GTA 1 and GTA: London 1969 to be installed, and furthermore requires the GTA: London 1969 disc in the drive.

 

In 2002, Rockstar released updated versions of GTA 1 and GTA 2 for free. In 2004, they released the Rockstar Classic Collection. This contained both updated games, in addition to an updated version of GTA: London 1969. Now, here is the important part. GTA: London 1961 will not work with the updated version of GTA: London 1969. The original version of GTA: London 1969 will not work with the updated version of GTA 1. Therefore, in order to play all three games, you must use the original versions of both games. You could get the original big box releases (even just the jewel cases alone from those releases will do) or the big box double pack (called the director's cut in America); however, the cheapest way to get them is to get the Sold Out double pack. I don't own this, but I believe that the original versions of both games are included.

 

3DFX is nice, but not mandatory. I have a Voodoo 2 in my Windows 98 SE machine, and GTA 1 + expansions run super smooth in real-mode DOS. It's easily the best way to play them. You need real hardware to see this effect though.

 

In regard to multiplayer, if you have two Windows 10 PCs that the Windows version runs on, here is what to do for two players:

 

  • On both PCs, go to Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings (on the left).
  • Right-click on the ethernet connection and click on properties.
  • Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 and click the Properties button.
  • Select Use the following IP address. On both PCs, enter the subnet mask 255.255.255.0. Enter the default gateway 192.168.0.3 on both PCs.
  • On PC 1, enter 192.168.0.1 as the IP address. On PC 2, enter 192.168.0.2 as the IP address. Click OK and OK again to exit properties.
  • Turn off the firewall on both PCs. Disconnect from Wifi if you're worried about security.
  • Connect both PCs together using an ethernet cable. Older PCs require a crossover cable, but modern ones should work with either. Get a crossover cable if in doubt.
  • Launch GTA 1 (or a London expansion) on both PCs.
  • On PC 1, choose Gather Game. Select game type and location (if playing GTA 1) and then configure rules. Select TCP/IP as game type and wait for players.
  • On PC 2, select Join Game, select TCP/IP and enter 192.168.0.1 as the IP address.
  • PC 2 should appear on the screen of PC 1. Start the game on PC 1 and the game should start on both PCs.
  • Exit the game on both PCs and re-enable the firewall.
  • Try to start a multiplayer game and it should fail. When you quit the game you should see a message asking you to open ports. On both PCs select public and private networks, and click allow.
  • Multiplayer should now work with the firewall enabled.
  • When you're finished, go back into Internet Protocol Version 4 settings, and click Obtain an IP address automatically. Otherwise you won't be able to connect to the Internet using a wired connection.
  • Repeat these steps whenever you want to play multiplayer, except you can now leave the firewall on.
  • For three or four players you will need an ethernet hub. Just remember that all PCs need to use the same subnet mask and default gateway, but must have a unique IP address. One player is the host (Gather Game). The others are clients (Join Game). All clients must enter the IP address of the host to join the game. Also, all PCs must have the relevant ports open in their firewalls. Also, ether net cable should be used when connecting to a hub, not crossover cables.
  • Note that the messaging function (press F1 to F4 to send a message to all or individual players) only works in the DOS version.
Edited by jm-9
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ThermalMoon
Posted (edited)

@jm-9 Thanks man, this really helps into further understanding GTA 1 and its engine. I'll see if I can come up with something. For now I want to test the multiplayer thing on DOSBOX, not the Max Pack version. The Max Pack version and its code are really different from the DOSBOX code on "notepad" (the program). As for the windows version, I'll see when I can get to it since I can really use the gaming PC only once a week, because my laptop is crap and all, and that's if my friend lets me. I can't just tell him to "stop playing these modern games and focus on helping me test out MP on an older game you don't care much about, help me test it bro."

So if I find a way to make the DOSBOX version work and obtain a "legal" copy of GTA 1 and the London expansions, I'll let you know. Once that's finished, I move on to trying to figure out the Windows version. Don't except me to figure this all out by tomorrow, I have limited time for everything and got some stuff to work on in the background. But I'll see what conclusion I come to.

Edited by ThermalMoon
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