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Grand Theft Auto: Chasing The Dragon


Recommended Posts


A Grand Theft Auto concept and partial wishlist.


Part of a revised set of concepts.





Part 1: Introduction



Part 2: The West Coast

Maps, Descriptions, Amenities


Part 3: Entertainment

Soundtrack, TV Shows


Part 4: Vehicles

Land, Air and Sea


Part 5: Weapons

Melee and Guns


Part 6: Plot

The six acts, missions


Part 7: The People & Gangs of SoSA

Gang info, allies, characters, strangers


Part 8: Gameplay I

Mechanics, Wanted Level, Features


Part 9: Gameplay II 

Side Activities, Real Estate, Construction


Part 10: Gameplay III 

Personal Properties, Leisure Activities












Information found in the Steam/PS Store/Xbox Marketplace/Rockstar Launcher game description. The title does not require GTA: Borders to play, and can be purchased digitally as a standalone game.


$20 million at stake, two tons of heroin all sitting in different places. A Triad group from up north is ready to cut a deal with anyone with enough influence and resources to make up for their time.


It’s the mid-90s in the midst of an American real estate boom, and every career criminal in Southern San Andreas wants a piece of the action. Two powerful West Coast crime families, the Zapatas and the Axelrods, are first in line to cut said deal.


Two men, newcomers to the West Coast criminal underworld, however, intend to cut that line. Outcasts of a different world, the men are filled with ambition and prospect at the thought of getting the deal through, to finally put their pasts behind them and lead their new lives as respected figures of this world, a goal long denied to them.


This is their one chance at the big time, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s now or never.





Featuring a tale of two men on the prowl, engage in an six-act action comedy and crime drama story that takes the best of over-the-top action films from the 80s and 90s into one continuous, explosive gaming experience.





Featuring a considerably larger familiar urban playground with an emphasis on city life, explore a revised reimagining of 1990s Southern California that encompasses pastiches of Los Angeles, San Diego and even Tijuana across the border, as you slowly build up your criminal empire with time.





A staple of the South San Andrean criminal life. Engage in an endless turf war against other prospective street gangs across the region, taking over gang strongholds while cutting yourself a fat slice of the criminal deals in the process!





In true Grand Theft Auto spirit, engage in a ballet of anarchy and ultraviolence with a wide variety of exciting side missions to earn yourself some extra cash!





Lead the life of a criminal real estate developer during the heyday of a pre-9/11 American economic miracle, making money off property on acquired turf! Invest, buy and sell properties, negotiate contracts, engage in price manipulation and lower or improve real estate prices in the area! Suffer the pain of a bankruptcy and asset liquidation when things go south!





Turn your ventures into reality with your very own construction company! Turn empty plots of land into profitable businesses that help spread your reputation across the West Coast.





Featuring over 350 licensed music tracks from over five decades, split across 12 different radio stations, experience some of the finest music to grace American and world radio during the mid-90s, while you go out and explore the vast expense of the splendor that is Southern San Andreas.











Like Borders, the game takes place in an expanded version of Southern San Andreas, as well as Northern Mexico via a border zone, ‘about two-to-three years after the riots’ during the 1990s United States boom. The map is updated from Borders, featuring a number of new locales for the players to visit, including Isla Castillo (Catalina Island). Three principal cities exist in the map, which are Los Santos, Santo Domingo and Ciudad Vizcaino, and the four present counties are Los Santos County, Red County, Santo Domingo County and the Sierra Municipality.

Author note: Yeah, I know LS ,and by extension Southern San Andreas, is a dead horse setting but I can’t help it. I strongly feel that a Southern Californian-Mexico setting is very apt for this sort of gang war-empire building-inspired gameplay.





The game also briefly takes place in Vice City during the prologue and fourth act of the storyline, taking place in the southern Ocean Beach area of the city during the first third of the act, complete with its own map and businesses, though this arc of the chapter would strictly be on-foot.


Part of a new canon and a separate story from Borders, Chasing The Dragon takes place entirely in its own retconned continuity, making no references to the former concept, and instead forging its own set of characters and storylines to better fit in with the darkly-humorous, albeit mostly-optimistic tone found originally in GTA: San Andreas.


A more in-depth view of the map is covered in Part 2, along with potential things to do in the region.






Perhaps the most exciting part of this concept as a whole. The expansion pack updates 10 existing stations from GTA: Borders, as well as include two new stations, which are Santo Domingo Roots Radio, a country station, and Mint Jams Radio, a Japanese jazz fusion and city pop station.


A new original score by both Thundercat and Kamasi Washington is featured in this expansion, featuring dynamic music done in a style similar to 80s-to-90s jazz fusion.


The game also features a number of licensed smooth jazz tracks, used in a variety of scenarios, such as being played as background music in malls and elevators or as incidental music during activities.


More on this will be covered in Part 3 and Part 9.





The player assumes control of two protagonists, Tarnell “T” Bridges and Javier Madrazo. Both have been underdogged by their former employers and families, and long for that sweet taste of success promised to prospective thugs in the underworld, assuming they don’t get booked in or killed. Like in GTA V, the player is able to switch between the two characters at will, save for certain storyline missions.


Tarnell “T” Bridges is an ex-detective from Vice City, formerly of the infamously corrupt Vice Squad. A dirty cop down to a T, everything from planting evidence on suspects to fill quotas to working directly with drug lords, you name it, he’s done it. His mentor, his partner Saul Alvarez, was key in helping T get a leg up in the squad, influencing his philosophy as a criminal.


Unfortunately for T, the 80s ran out of gas as soon as he made it big, and one night in 1988, he responds to a call from Alvarez to visit a certain location to arrange a drug deal, only to discover his absence on-location, instead being the site of an IA sting. Busted by a clean NOOSE team, it was said that T ‘paid through the ass’ for his freedom, and was promptly fired from the squad, with the good word of the FIB, not long after the incident.


Travelling to the West Coast with little to no pocket, T works odd jobs for various members of the San Andreas underworld before scraping enough to buy a cheap house near Anselmo Beach in Red County, in a neighborhood dominated by illegals and local Mexican-Americans. As of the mid-90s, he works as a bounty hunter for a bail bonds firm in Emerald Lake, Los Santos, rounding up fugitives and troublemakers across the city.


The good life had been ripped from him suddenly, and he wants to return to that, badly, and also getting his vengeance on Alvarez. A long wait ensues, and he finally gets another shot at the life when, on a chance meeting on the same job he runs into...


Javier Madrazo. Illegitimate son of Angel Madrazo, the now-deceased brother of cartel leader Alejandro Madrazo, and a barmaid, exiled from the Tex-Mex Madrazo Cartel in the late-80s for trying to one-up his cousin, Martin, in becoming leader of the crew, forcing him into the city of Los Santos not long after that, where he, and a group of other disgruntled Madrazo goons loyal to him, work small jobs and protection across the city.


His illegitimacy as the heir of the cartel brings him a great deal of shame and insecurity, which he makes up for with a larger-than-life and faux-psychotic personality, making him seem more capable and unhinged than he really is.


His plan? If he can’t one-up Marty, he might as well start a crew of his own that blows them out of the water. Get the props he really deserves for his efforts rather than work his fingers to the bone for nothing. The smack deal with the SF Triads, which he quickly hears word about, is the ultimate goal for Javier, which he sees as being the defining moment to finally receive Martin’s respect, and fear.


More on the other characters and gangs in Part 7.






Contrary to the store description, the story is split into 8 different acts (including the prologue and epilogue), functioning somewhat similar to the chapters seen in games like Bully and Yakuza. 


Acts 1-3 introduces players to the basic elements of gameplay in Chasing The Dragon, giving them a headstart in side missions and activities such as Real Estate Management, Construction, Strongholds and Gang Wars, while exploring the growth of the partnership between Javier and T. 


Tonally, this part of the storyline is considerably more comedic, and predominantly takes place in Los Santos, Red County and Santo Domingo. The border, at this point of the storyline, is still closed to Americans due to an ‘ongoing investigation’ involving an unnamed cartel, meaning the Sierra Municipality is inaccessible during this time.


Acts 4-6, on the other hand, is much more story-driven, with both protagonists more-or-less becoming established criminal figures in the region, with enough money and influence to make their bones in the underworld. Mexico is unlocked, and more territories and business opportunities are open to the player to expand the Madrazo empire.


This second half of the storyline is noticeably darker than the first, involving much more dramatic and less over-the-top elements than before, though the signature Rockstar sort of dark humor can still be found here, along with more light-hearted moments of  situational/satirical comedy.



















More on the plot and missions in Part 6 of this concept.






Other than the aforementioned key activities, Chasing The Dragon introduces other new side missions, minigames and activities to do, which are not limited to; Yacht Club, Tank Rampage, Smuggler’s Run, Celebrity Escort, Bounty Hunting and a Lucky & Wild-inspired side mission known as Cassie & Bridges.


Many leisure and cosmetic activities are also introduced or improved upon from both Borders and GTA V, which help to bring life into the fresh, expansive in-game world. Atmospheric and life simulation mechanics from RDR 2, as seen in Borders, are also brought over to this expansion, such as sitting, smoking, mugging and eating, though the animations used are noticeably more slick to fit in more with the aesthetic of the GTA world. Rentable properties such as motels still exist here, though they are not as prevalent as in Borders, as players now have a greater opportunity to purchase properties.


Combat-wise, Chasing The Dragon plays like somewhat of a mix between GTA V, RDR 2, Max Payne 3 and True Crime: Streets of New York. True to the older GTAs, gunplay is frantic and erratic, and the player is able to duel-wield, for example, and though sliding and rolling are not as intricate as seen in MP3, it exists somewhat as a way to make combat more engaging. Exiting a moving vehicle while at low or decreasing speeds will also result in a special rolling animation that causes minimal to no damage to the player.


And much more.


More on this in Parts 8 to 10 of this concept.

Edited by sabitsuki
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You've got some real artistic talent when it comes to presentation. The photos of the city and surroundings are beautiful, but I really dig the protagonist sketches, it gives me this real nostalgia of doodling in my notebooks in class as a youngin. I'm not at all familiar with the protagonist from GTA V; had to find him on the wiki. He seems to have been a really minor character. Since this takes place over a decade prior why just make your cartel protagonist a new person? Honestly I couldn't stand the Madrazo cartel, but that's chocked up to terrible writing. Martin Madrazo had no venerable qualities other than being an annoying rich dick.

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9 hours ago, Akaviri said:

I'm not at all familiar with the protagonist from GTA V; had to find him on the wiki. He seems to have been a really minor character. Since this takes place over a decade prior why just make your cartel protagonist a new person? Honestly I couldn't stand the Madrazo cartel, but that's chocked up to terrible writing. Martin Madrazo had no venerable qualities other than being an annoying rich dick.

So was Vic in Vice City, and look how his story turned out in VCS. This concept to me is more-or-less a HDU tribute to both Vanilla San Andreas and VCS as far as story, atmosphere and gameplay goes so I think Javier, despite being killed in his only appearance in V, has potential to receive the same sort of Vic Vance treatment here.


I personally didn't find Martin to be a terribly-written character, per say, but he was definitely lost potential, a character that needed more appearances in V to flesh out his character and his influence over the region. I originally written a bit about him in Borders but I've decided to retcon that concept altogether and make his personality a lot more analogous to his appearance in V due to the less serious tone of this concept. In this case he takes somewhat of a similar role to Ma Cipriani in that he does not physically appear throughout much of the main storyline, but his impact on Javier's decisions throughout this game is paramount. He's essentially the Vic to Javier's Lance, in other words, except he's an incredibly inept version of him whose success is a direct byproduct of nepotism.


I'll write more on that in the characters section when it's out. Right now I'm still working on the map for part 2, so it'll unfortunately be a while before this thread gets bumped again.

Edited by sabitsuki
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2 hours ago, sabitsuki said:

So was Vic in Vice City, and look how his story turned out in VCS.=

You have a poiint, my friend! Ha ha ha!

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pretty cool way of tying Javier Madrazo, a pretty much faceless character, to his own backstory!  as you say, an ode to Vic Vance going from hunchbacked half-dominican brother of Lance to soldier turned criminal in his own story.  I like that link, it's small enough to not warrant entire mission strands dedicated to showing off how badly Martin was written in V but still grounds us in a familiar canon.  the other thing I very much like is the idea of the sections set in a small portion of Vice City, whenever I read about that kinda thing with the on-foot action it reminds me of games like The Warriors and conjures up the image of the action sequences taking place in back alleys (Back Alley Brawl anyone?) with melee weapons and the occasional wheelgun or 9mm coming out to play, maybe an Uzi or cut down Mossberg stuffed in a jacket but these kind of on-foot only sections ground us back into the gritty and low-down side of being criminal, shaking down store owners, laying a beating on someone for not paying their dealer.  the idea of being becoming a construction magnate is great too, a cool reference to VCS's empire building system I guess?  a nice little bit of story and gameplay blending too; it makes sense for our protagonists to have a semi-legit source of income and adds the possibly of less than legal side missions too!  looking forward to keeping up with this one, thats for sure.

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The Notorious MOB

Really glad to see this posted. Also appreciate the way you've given us just enough to keep us going.


I always kind of figured Javier was a young guy in his twenties in GTA V, but I don't think there's anything to really indicate that as such. So I'm looking forward to seeing you fleshing him out.

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