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Everything Wrong with Liberty City Stories


Orto_Dogge

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As much as I love "Liberty City Stories", its plot looks like a bad fanfiction that would be bashed on this forum for not being aware enough of the lore. Since I recently completed the story again, I'd like to vent a little bit and list every braindead decision Rockstar made while creating this game.

 

I'll start with the bigger ones and move to the small ones.

 

Callahan Bridge

 

So Rockstar want to tell us that Portland had no connection to mainland until 1998, except for the ferry? Portland, the industrial island that has only one purpose: to connect ports to the city? Portland, from which the huge trucks full of goods are supposed to arrive to the markets of Staunton Island? Portland, that is literally called Portland because of the connection between port and the land, had no connection between port and the land? This is insane.

 

Just to compare, the Manhattan Bridge, on which Callahan Bridge is partly based, was opened in 1909. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, another source of inspiration, was opened in 1936. That's the era when New York was built and was actively growing. Yet Rockstar acts like Liberty City just been hanging around for a century, until in 1998 it struck them that maybe we should do the unimaginable and connect two pieces of land by that new thing called "a bridge". Absolutely braindead decision. They could just pretend that the bridge was on reconstruction.

 

Fort Staunton

 

I have no problems with blowing up Fort Staunton, it was a great way to explore Italian Harlem and all. But the way they went about it is outrageous. Huge act of domestic terrorism is talked about in such a casual and nonchalant manner that you might think it's a car theft. Donald Love, Toni Cipriani and even 8-Ball have absolutely zero hesitation before commiting 9/11. It's not in any way emotionally motivated, just a little business venture. Toni gets whole $5000 for it, he's not even promised a heaven full of virgins, like a normal terrorist.

 

But the most idiotic thing is that they clearly had a better explanation for the event in the game! If you listen to the news afterwards, they mention that the possible cause for the explosion was the ammunition stock that Forellis kept in the old subway tunnels under the Fort Staunton. It's such a beautiful explanation that could be a much more interesting and climatic mission. Final showdown with the Forellis in the abandoned subway, epic assassination of Franco Forelli, something goes wrong, everything is blowing up, city is forever damaged. Grand finale! But instead it turned into: "Pay $20 000 -> Commit mini-genocide of Italian Americans -> Get $5000 -> Profit".

 

Miguel

 

This is just beyond any stupidity. For no reason at all they put the character from GTAIII (that takes place in 2001) into LCS (that takes place in 1998) and made you kill him. Zero explanation to why and how he survived. Pure confusion, pure chaos. Some writers just want to see world burn.

 

Love Media Building

 

You cannot convince me that it's not simply a mistake. For no reason at all Donald Love moved from Love Media Building from GTAIII to the building right behind it. Yet the Love Media garage and the garage that is used in his missions are still in the correct building. Of course we can pretend that he just bought two identical skyscrapers right next to each other, but a simple screwup by Rockstar is a much more logical explanation.

 

Leone Family

 

So in GTAIII, the game that is not focused purely on Leone Family, we were introduced to five members: Sal, Toni, Joey, Luigi, Mickey. Yet in LCS, that is exclusively about Leones, we are introduced only to one: Vincenzo Cilli. And not only that, but they cut off Luigi and Joey completely. So the whole story revolves around Leone Family, but we practically know nothing about it, its members or its hierarchy. Which leads to another problem...

 

Overly Active Salvatore

 

Since after moving to Staunton we have no members of Leones left, except for protagonist and his boss, Don Salvatore becomes an errand boy. Man is pushing sixties and under constant surveilance by the FBI, yet he's running around the streets with his shotgun, boat racing with CIA and spending hours behing dirty crates waiting for Toni to pickup the phone. Both in GTAIII and SA the figure of Salvatore Leone is huge. In GTAIII we have a whole mission dedicated purely to introduction of Sal. In SA we have a telephone call to highlight the importance of Don's arrival. Yet in LCS he acts like a regular goon. He's not paranoid, careful or even remotely smart. He's an idiot. Introduction of at least one other member of The Leones would help this game so so much. And that leads to yet another problem!

 

Salvatore's Arrest

 

One might suspect that the event of such magnitude will be foreshadowed or explained, but no. He is simply arrested because "Forellis and Sindaccos betrayed him". Not because he's shooting people in the broad daylight, of course. It's the betrayal, and not just any betrayal, but a betrayal from your direct enemies (which is, by definition, not a betrayal at all, you old fart).

 

Gang Property

 

Gang property in this game has a weird tendency to change hands for no reason. Triad Factory that Leones blew up in 2001 becomes the Leones' factory that Triads blew up in 1998. Why? Just to make you feel like you're fever dreaming. Cartel backstreet somehow becomes Yakuza backstreet. Again, why? For the sheer confusion of it. Now my favorite is Donald Love's mansion. Just a minute ago he was bankrupt and lived in a flophouse, yet the second he became rich again he bought the mansion... Just to immediately hand it over to Cartel. Why? Why doing that? Just give this mansion to Cartel from the beginning, why create a rushed backstory for it, we didn't need it at all.

 

Donald Love is an idiot

 

Donald Love survived probably the hardest flanderization I've ever had a misfortune to witness. A single mention of "morgue party" in GTAIII turned calm, collected and relatively smart billionaire into an impulsive, idiotic cannibal and necrophiliac. He acts nothing like Donald Love from GTAIII and serves only to the purpose of providing low quality entertainment in the form of hysterical emotions.

 

Ray is 40

 

Ray Machowski is stated to be 40 in LCS, which means he's 43 in GTAIII. Practically everything, from head full of gray hair and mentioning of his illnesses to the voice acting of Robert Loggia suggested that he's much older. Why make him young and why turn him into a paladin of good? Are we supposed to believe that a hardened cop in his forties will turn from a kitten to the most corrupt policeman of the state in three years? Why make it less realistic, Rockstar, it was fine as it is.

 

Toni's Mother

 

She should probably be higher on the list. Her storyline is a complete joke, especially the part where she's trying to kill her son. I understand that this is a reference to "The Sopranos", but since we're referring it anyway, how about also refer at least a bit the complexity of inner intrigues in mafia families? Why not make her into a machiavellian schemer instead of caricature abuser that makes you chase naked men in the woods and win races? Such a lost opportunity.

 

Kazuki's Place

 

When Asuka gave Staunton Safehouse to Claude, she clearly stated that it's a warehouse. In LCS the boss of the whole gang lives there and also parks his personal helicopter on its roof. Seems more like a penthouse than a warehouse.

 

Rampages Against Innocent

 

This is simply unheard of in GTA. Just shows you how off LCS feels as a whole.

 

Salvatore is Transported in Gruppe Sechs Van

 

Again, such a small, but idiotic thing. Why he is transported from prison in a personal sector security van? Police has Enforcers for that!

 

Making JD

 

My favorite one. We're killing JD in a car so we can get rid of it. We're doing it in a scrapyard right next to a car crusher. Why can't Mickey Hamfists walk home for a bit? What was the point of doing it so close to greatness if we have to drive the bloody car across the whole borough? So infuriatingly hilarious.

 

------------

 

Oh God, I just love LCS.

Edited by Orto_Dogge
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universetwisters
9 hours ago, Orto_Dogge said:

Rampages Against Innocent

 

This is simply unheard of in GTA. Just shows you how off LCS feels as a whole.

 

Is LCS the only GTA you played? Don't forget the time CJ massacred an entire construction site just because they hit on his sister and when Tommy just went out and caused random chaos just because some biker told him to

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cant remember
18 hours ago, Orto_Dogge said:

Toni gets whole $5000 for it, he's not even promised a heaven full of virgins, like a normal terrorist.

 

For some reason that bit cracks me up

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12 hours ago, universetwisters said:

 

Is LCS the only GTA you played? Don't forget the time CJ massacred an entire construction site just because they hit on his sister and when Tommy just went out and caused random chaos just because some biker told him to

Every GTA protagonist kills innocent people during some missions, but Rampages against the regular pedestrians is a no-go. Design Document for GTAIII also states that there should be no such missions.

12 hours ago, gtaonefan said:

It was weird to have a Rampage against fellow Leone gang members though

Yeah, I should have mentioned that too. It was just so off.

 

I have a theory though, that since you use a shotgun in this Rampage, it is supposed to be some kind of revenge for them always killing you with a shotgun in GTAIII.

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universetwisters
3 hours ago, Orto_Dogge said:

Every GTA protagonist kills innocent people during some missions, but Rampages against the regular pedestrians is a no-go. Design Document for GTAIII also states that there should be no such missions.


Wtf I just realized that 

 

I guess Toni is just an awful person who dresses up in his underwear and a chicken fursuit and commits heinous crimes. Arguably either the worst or best protag depending on where you stand on those issues 

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3 hours ago, universetwisters said:


Wtf I just realized that 

 

I guess Toni is just an awful person who dresses up in his underwear and a chicken fursuit and commits heinous crimes. Arguably either the worst or best protag depending on where you stand on those issues 

Let' say "the baddest". 😂

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Legomanarthur
7 hours ago, universetwisters said:

I guess Toni is just an awful person who dresses up in his underwear and a chicken fursuit and commits heinous crimes. Arguably either the worst or best protag depending on where you stand on those issues 

That does give him some cool points though. There's nothing like causing havoc and killing innocent people while wearing a Chicken mascot outfit to really make you feel... alive, you know? :sadkek:

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universetwisters
On 6/19/2023 at 8:48 AM, Orto_Dogge said:

Toni's Mother

 

She should probably be higher on the list. Her storyline is a complete joke, especially the part where she's trying to kill her son. I understand that this is a reference to "The Sopranos", but since we're referring it anyway, how about also refer at least a bit the complexity of inner intrigues in mafia families? Why not make her into a machiavellian schemer instead of caricature abuser that makes you chase naked men in the woods and win races? Such a lost opportunity.

 

Just to circle back to this, I made a thread a while ago saying that Toni's mom should've been the main antagonist. On one hand, it'd be f*ckin stupid and goofy and not realistic at all. But on the other hand, relative to all the other unrealistic points mentioned in the OP, it wouldn't be too out of the norm. Toni's mom is the true puppetmaster :shillkek:

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Anywhere USA
On 6/19/2023 at 6:48 AM, Orto_Dogge said:

As much as I love "Liberty City Stories", its plot looks like a bad fanfiction that would be bashed on this forum for not being aware enough of the lore. Since I recently completed the story again, I'd like to vent a little bit and list every braindead decision Rockstar made while creating this game.

 

I'll start with the bigger ones and move to the small ones.

 

Callahan Bridge

 

So Rockstar want to tell us that Portland had no connection to mainland until 1998, except for the ferry? Portland, the industrial island that has only one purpose: to connect ports to the city? Portland, from which the huge trucks full of goods are supposed to arrive to the markets of Staunton Island? Portland, that is literally called Portland because of the connection between port and the land, had no connection between port and the land? This is insane.

 

Just to compare, the Manhattan Bridge, on which Callahan Bridge is partly based, was opened in 1909. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, another source of inspiration, was opened in 1936. That's the era when New York was built and was actively growing. Yet Rockstar acts like Liberty City just been hanging around for a century, until in 1998 it struck them that maybe we should do the unimaginable and connect two pieces of land by that new thing called "a bridge". Absolutely braindead decision. They could just pretend that the bridge was on reconstruction.

 

Fort Staunton

 

I have no problems with blowing up Fort Staunton, it was a great way to explore Italian Harlem and all. But the way they went about it is outrageous. Huge act of domestic terrorism is talked about in such a casual and nonchalant manner that you might think it's a car theft. Donald Love, Toni Cipriani and even 8-Ball have absolutely zero hesitation before commiting 9/11. It's not in any way emotionally motivated, just a little business venture. Toni gets whole $5000 for it, he's not even promised a heaven full of virgins, like a normal terrorist.

 

But the most idiotic thing is that they clearly had a better explanation for the event in the game! If you listen to the news afterwards, they mention that the possible cause for the explosion was the ammunition stock that Forellis kept in the old subway tunnels under the Fort Staunton. It's such a beautiful explanation that could be a much more interesting and climatic mission. Final showdown with the Forellis in the abandoned subway, epic assassination of Franco Forelli, something goes wrong, everything is blowing up, city is forever damaged. Grand finale! But instead it turned into: "Pay $20 000 -> Commit mini-genocide of Italian Americans -> Get $5000 -> Profit".

 

Miguel

 

This is just beyond any stupidity. For no reason at all they put the character from GTAIII (that takes place in 2001) into LCS (that takes place in 1998) and made you kill him. Zero explanation to why and how he survived. Pure confusion, pure chaos. Some writers just want to see world burn.

 

Love Media Building

 

You cannot convince me that it's not simply a mistake. For no reason at all Donald Love moved from Love Media Building from GTAIII to the building right behind it. Yet the Love Media garage and the garage that is used in his missions are still in the correct building. Of course we can pretend that he just bought two identical skyscrapers right next to each other, but a simple screwup by Rockstar is a much more logical explanation.

 

Leone Family

 

So in GTAIII, the game that is not focused purely on Leone Family, we were introduced to five members: Sal, Toni, Joey, Luigi, Mickey. Yet in LCS, that is exclusively about Leones, we are introduced only to one: Vincenzo Cilli. And not only that, but they cut off Luigi and Joey completely. So the whole story revolves around Leone Family, but we practically know nothing about it, its members or its hierarchy. Which leads to another problem...

 

Overly Active Salvatore

 

Since after moving to Staunton we have no members of Leones left, except for protagonist and his boss, Don Salvatore becomes an errand boy. Man is pushing sixties and under constant surveilance by the FBI, yet he's running around the streets with his shotgun, boat racing with CIA and spending hours behing dirty crates waiting for Toni to pickup the phone. Both in GTAIII and SA the figure of Salvatore Leone is huge. In GTAIII we have a whole mission dedicated purely to introduction of Sal. In SA we have a telephone call to highlight the importance of Don's arrival. Yet in LCS he acts like a regular goon. He's not paranoid, careful or even remotely smart. He's an idiot. Introduction of at least one other member of The Leones would help this game so so much. And that leads to yet another problem!

 

Salvatore's Arrest

 

One might suspect that the event of such magnitude will be foreshadowed or explained, but no. He is simply arrested because "Forellis and Sindaccos betrayed him". Not because he's shooting people in the broad daylight, of course. It's the betrayal, and not just any betrayal, but a betrayal from your direct enemies (which is, by definition, not a betrayal at all, you old fart).

 

Gang Property

 

Gang property in this game has a weird tendency to change hands for no reason. Triad Factory that Leones blew up in 2001 becomes the Leones' factory that Triads blew up in 1998. Why? Just to make you feel like you're fever dreaming. Cartel backstreet somehow becomes Yakuza backstreet. Again, why? For the sheer confusion of it. Now my favorite is Donald Love's mansion. Just a minute ago he was bankrupt and lived in a flophouse, yet the second he became rich again he bought the mansion... Just to immediately hand it over to Cartel. Why? Why doing that? Just give this mansion to Cartel from the beginning, why create a rushed backstory for it, we didn't need it at all.

 

Donald Love is an idiot

 

Donald Love survived probably the hardest flanderization I've ever had a misfortune to witness. A single mention of "morgue party" in GTAIII turned calm, collected and relatively smart billionaire into an impulsive, idiotic cannibal and necrophiliac. He acts nothing like Donald Love from GTAIII and serves only to the purpose of providing low quality entertainment in the form of hysterical emotions.

 

Ray is 40

 

Ray Machowski is stated to be 40 in LCS, which means he's 43 in GTAIII. Practically everything, from head full of gray hair and mentioning of his illnesses to the voice acting of Robert Loggia suggested that he's much older. Why make him young and why turn him into a paladin of good? Are we supposed to believe that a hardened cop in his forties will turn from a kitten to the most corrupt policeman of the state in three years? Why make it less realistic, Rockstar, it was fine as it is.

 

Toni's Mother

 

She should probably be higher on the list. Her storyline is a complete joke, especially the part where she's trying to kill her son. I understand that this is a reference to "The Sopranos", but since we're referring it anyway, how about also refer at least a bit the complexity of inner intrigues in mafia families? Why not make her into a machiavellian schemer instead of caricature abuser that makes you chase naked men in the woods and win races? Such a lost opportunity.

 

Kazuki's Place

 

When Asuka gave Staunton Safehouse to Claude, she clearly stated that it's a warehouse. In LCS the boss of the whole gang lives there and also parks his personal helicopter on its roof. Seems more like a penthouse than a warehouse.

 

Rampages Against Innocent

 

This is simply unheard of in GTA. Just shows you how off LCS feels as a whole.

 

Salvatore is Transported in Gruppe Sechs Van

 

Again, such a small, but idiotic thing. Why he is transported from prison in a personal sector security van? Police has Enforcers for that!

 

Making JD

 

My favorite one. We're killing JD in a car so we can get rid of it. We're doing it in a scrapyard right next to a car crusher. Why can't Mickey Hamfists walk home for a bit? What was the point of doing it so close to greatness if we have to drive the bloody car across the whole borough? So infuriatingly hilarious.

 

------------

 

Oh God, I just love LCS.

ALL the rampages in GTA 1 and half the ones in GTA 2 are against civilians. There’s literally a mission in 2 where you kidnap a bus full of civilians and force them at gunpoint into the meat grinder 

On 6/20/2023 at 4:47 AM, Orto_Dogge said:

Every GTA protagonist kills innocent people during some missions, but Rampages against the regular pedestrians is a no-go. Design Document for GTAIII also states that there should be no such missions.

Yeah, I should have mentioned that too. It was just so off.

 

I have a theory though, that since you use a shotgun in this Rampage, it is supposed to be some kind of revenge for them always killing you with a shotgun in GTAIII.

GTA 1: All civilians.

GTA London: All of them are civs

GTA 2: Half of them are civvies

GTA 5: Half of them are civvies

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Orto_Dogge
On 6/27/2023 at 10:44 PM, Anywhere USA said:

ALL the rampages in GTA 1 and half the ones in GTA 2 are against civilians. There’s literally a mission in 2 where you kidnap a bus full of civilians and force them at gunpoint into the meat grinder 

GTA 1: All civilians.

GTA London: All of them are civs

GTA 2: Half of them are civvies

GTA 5: Half of them are civvies

Yeah, I meant the 3D era. If I would compare LCS to top-down era or HD era there would be much more things that would look "off", lmao.

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Anywhere USA

T

58 minutes ago, Orto_Dogge said:

Yeah, I meant the 3D era. If I would compare LCS to top-down era or HD era there would be much more things that would look "off", lmao.

 

58 minutes ago, Orto_Dogge said:

Yeah, I meant the 3D era. If I would compare LCS to top-down era or HD era there would be much more things that would look "off", lmao.

There’s also the 2-Player Rampages from San Andreas and, again, Trevor’s in 5

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing that annoyed me in this game (and VCS) was the talk radio station. Especially the Chatterbox segment. In GTAIII, Lazlow came off as a fairly calm, collected straightman who's having to deal with a ton of lunatics calling into his show. In LCS, Lazlow is just annoying and whiny, and some of it was just really over-the-top and trying way too hard to be funny. Same with Maurice Chavez in VCS. Fantastic in VC, over-the-top and try-hard in VCS. It was so natural on the original Chatterbox and VCPR.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Pistol Bobcat

A lot of valid points here, Rampages are more fun and more satisfying against gangs we consider enemies (doing them against the Leones in this game is just weird) but I especially agree regarding the bridge and other landmarks being built, was Liberty City the size of Cupar, Fife in 1980? Did everyone just ferry their cars across the river between 3 islands until the 90's?

Edited by Pistol Bobcat
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