Vice City is a fictional city in the "Grand Theft Auto" series, based on
Miami, Florida. Two versions of the city have appeared in different generations of the series:
The "Grand Theft Auto" rendition is geographically very similar to Miami. The ' rendition (also featured in ') is composed of two mainland islands, with three smaller ones in between. This rendition of Vice City draws significant inspiration from the 1980s culture of Miami.
Located in the
Florida Keys, Vice City enjoys a subtropicalor near- tropicalclimate with year-long sunny weather, occasional strong winds and rainfall. It is also suggested in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories" that the city is exposed to hurricanes, as is Miami; early in "Vice City", bridges are closed to the public as Hurricane Hermione is believed to be approaching the city. Similarly in "Vice City Stories", Hurricane Gordy is believed to be approaching the city.
"Grand Theft Auto" rendition
Compared to "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", the "Grand Theft Auto" rendition of Vice City is more geographically accurate to Miami. Eastern Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and surrounding areas are depicted as "Vice Beach;" North
Miami Beachand the Central Business District have been tagged as "Felicity". Western Vice City is made up of Miramire, Coral City, Greek Heights, Little Dominica, Little Bogota and Richman Heights, each representing the counties Broward and Dade.
Districts and locations in the city include:
*An unnamed island south of Vice Beach
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" rendition
name = Vice City
official_name = City of Vice
settlement_type =Fictional City
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = The map of Vice City, as depicted in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories". Left to right: Mainland, Midland containing various islands and Vice Beach.
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = Islands
subdivision_name2 = Vice Mainland
area_code = 555
website = [http://www.rockstargames.com/vicecity/ Official "Vice City" website]
Vice City, as depicted in ', is set in 1986, a reference to 1980s Miami, which was a major trans-shipment point for
cocainefrom South Americaat the time. This is further reinforced with its theme of the drug business and crime, as well as the presence of new upper-class businesses and residents in the city, with some of them likely to be funded by the drug business. The city is also located on the same fictional earth as Liberty City, and the state of San Andreas - the locations of " Grand Theft Auto III" ("GTA III"), and ' ("GTA:SA"), respectively. Vice City is specifically indicated to be located within the state of Florida,In "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", in-game radio stations frequently mention Florida as the state in which the locale is set. Other minor references, such as the use of Floridian license plates on certain vehicles, can be found elsewhere in the game.] while Vice City was suggested to exist alongside Miami in "Grand Theft Auto III".Miami was explicitly mentioned existing in "Grand Theft Auto III", when Ray Machowski is suggested to have left for Miami, as well as airline advertising mentioning the city. [http://www.rockstargames.com/grandtheftauto3/flash/francisAirport/index.html A mock website] of Liberty City's airport also mentions Miami alongside Vice City. A "Move Over Miami" billboard exists in Vice City. However, Miami was never mentioned again in following "Grand Theft Auto" games.]
Vice City consists of two major islands and three smaller islands; both main islands are separated by a large body of water similar to that of
Biscayne Bay, which separates Miami Beach with mainland Miami in real life. Each major island is divided into several districts. The population of Vice City is given at around 1.8 million. [Information found on page 5 of the game's manual.]
The city has four
hospitals (two in each major island) and four police stations (two in each major island) distributed evenly in the city; these facilities serve as respawn points after the player dies or is arrested, respectively. The city also has one fire stationand a military base. Unlike Liberty City and the state of San Andreas, however, Vice City has no known railwayor rapid transitsystems, and all islands are connected by road or pedestrian bridges. While the city contains local taxicabs like other "GTA" cities, Vice City was the first city in the series to offer functional taxicab services that sends the player directly to a single location for a fee, available in one mission (to a club) or when the player failed a mission as a result of being killed or arrested (to the last mission's trigger point, excluding phone missions). This "Trip Skip" taxi function has been used in subsequent "GTA" games, including ' and '.
In the beginning of "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", the western island is off-limits due to hurricane warnings. After the player starts working for , the warnings will subside and the bridges will be open. Conversely, in "", the eastern island is off-limits during the first half of the game due to another hurricane warning.
The eastern island of Vice City, also referred to as "Vice City Beach" on the game's roadsigns, is depicted as the more affluent and tourist-oriented side of the city, which is mostly dominated by upper and middle-wealth businesses, as well as residential condominiums, apartments and construction sites. The eastern island is also known for a wide beach, dubbed "Washington Beach", on its east side, which makes almost half of the island's landmass. The island also has a
waterwayon its west side, including neighboring Leaf Links. The eastern island is clearly based on Miami Beach, Florida.
Ocean Beach is an upper-class tourist district consisting of a few skyscrapers and many low rises, directly based on Ocean Drive in
South Beachand located in the southeastern most of Vice City. The area is primarily occupied by seaside and beach side apartments, hotels and upper-class businesses. An Art Deco Historic District-like row of Art Decoand Modernistlow rises are also present; the road stretched along the row mimics that of Ocean Drive, bearing much resemblance to their real life counterparts in architecture and layout, and includes a flora partition between the low rises and beach, similar to Lummus Park. The lighthouse located at the southeastern most point mimics the Cape Florida lighthouse, the oldest structure in Miami, located in Key Biscayne, and a popular beach side tourist destination.
Inland towards the west, Ocean Beach contains additional commercial and residential buildings, resembling southwestern Miami Beach, westward from Collins Avenue (in fact, the road in Vice City that separates the two sides of the Ocean Beach in the manner that Collins Avenue does to southern Ocean Beach, and would eventually run along several beach side apartments and condominiums in Vice Point, similar to northern Collins Avenue).
The district boasts a
marina, Ocean Bay Marina, mimicking a large marina stretched along Alton Road in Ocean Beach and located at the west end of the district. A hospital is also situated on the northwest end of Ocean Beach, named Ocean View Hospital, it is likely named for its locations affront the city bay. Two additional high-rise buildings located beside the hospital bear signage that claims that the tenants are the "Research and Development Department" of the "Ocean View Medical Foundation", suggesting that the buildings are related to the hospital.
Several other features may be noted in Ocean Beach. A park mimicking South Pointe Park is located on the southern end of Ocean Beach, and includes a seaside building with similar architecture designs, and an additional helipad. An open-air mall, Washington Mall, depicted at the northern end of Ocean Beach, is possibly based on the Bal Harbour Shops mall at Bal Harbour. It is also interesting to note the similarity in design to the 1983 motion picture "Scarface", particularly during the hotel chase following the infamous chainsaw scene.
's initial accommodation in Vice City is in Ocean Beach, at the beachfront Ocean View Hotel. The Pole Position (strip) Club is also located near the south end of the district.
Washington Beach is a district between Ocean Beach from the south and Vice Point from the north, encompassing the northern end of the Art Deco Historic District-like beachfront district, its inland area, and the southern half of a smaller island to the west containing two construction sites and several additional apartments and housing (among them, a building featuring a hotel room similar to that in "Scarface" where the film's chainsaw torture takes place).
Washington Beach also contains a police station located at the northern edge of the district, as well as 's office at the southwestern edge. Washington Beach is also connected to Starfish Island via a short bridge between the Washington Beach island; the roadway connecting the two districts stretches across the islands and ends at the edge of Little Havana. The district is likely to be named after Washington Avenue, a major road in Miami Beach.
Vice Point is a more middle class and residential area of Vice Beach, covering the remaining areas of the island at the north, and consisting of larger apartment buildings and hotels aligned along the shore as well as medium sized homes and smaller apartment complexes inland. This set-up resembles the rows of developments along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, as well as the residential set-up of that city.
The North Point Mall (known as Vice Point Mall in "GTA:VCS"), a large mall located in the north end of Vice Point and accessible by the player, is a parody of Miami's
Aventura Mall. Its location in the northeastern most point of the east island is similar to Aventura Mall's location in the extreme northeastern most point of the Miami Metro Area. The mall's layout, though much smaller, also resembles that of Aventura Mall. The mall, among others, contains a few eateries, as well as two weapons stores and a clothing pickup.
The Malibu Club is situated on southern Vice Point. A police department is also located further north, as is another hospital.
Vice City's western island, also referred to as the "Vice City Mainland" on roadsigns in the game, is depicted as a less glamorous area of the city, although the business district of Downtown is in fact located on the north end of the island. The western island houses much of the city's industrial population, as well as seaport and airport facilities at the south. Two sizable districts housing immigrant populations are located in the middle, with one of these districts depicted in a dilapidated state. The western island contains the wide four-lane Bayshore Avenue (named in "Vice City Stories") at its east side that stretches from the south end, at the seaports, to the north end, at the southern tip of Downtown. The western island is based on mainland Miami.
Downtown mirrors downtown Miami, where the areas see the highest concentration of skyscrapers, both residential and commercial. Like its real-life counterpart, Downtown is believed to be a more formal, financial district of Vice City, with a number of large office buildings, including the city's tallest building, possibly based on the
Wachovia Financial Centerand the Bank of America Tower. This building in particular is notable not only because it is, in fact, the city's tallest, but also because it can be seen from most areas all around Vice City.
The area also boasts the Hyman Memorial Stadium west of Downtown, serving as a staging area for events such as rock concerts,
stock carracing, demolition derbies and dirt bike stunt shows. The stadium is also home to the Vice City Mambas football team, which featured former tight-end turned car salesman . In addition, Downtown serves as the location for the local heavy metal radio station and an enclosed recording studio, where lead singer for rock band Love Fist, Jezz Torrent, was seen recording a song.
Other places of interest include the Electronics District, the Vice City News (VCN) headquarters, the Greasy Chopper bikers' bar, and a venue for a Love Fist concert, just south of the V-Rock radio station. An unnamed beach is also located west of Downtown, but it receives no visitors or attention, a stark contrast to Washington Beach in the Ocean Beach area. A police station, hospital and the city's only fire station is situated in the district. One of the main roads Downtown (that leads past the Love Fist venue and the Downtown Pizza Stack) is called "Hoarmount Avenue".
Drawing from the real-life
Little Havanain Miami, Vice City's Little Havana consists of a predominantly Spanish-speaking Cuban population. The area is controlled by the Cuban gang, led by from his father's cafe, located in the southwest end of Little Havana. Due to Little Havana's proximity with Little Haiti, occasional fights and gun battles between Cuban and Haitian gangs erupt in areas bordering the two districts.
A police station is located at the southeastern tip of Little Havana, as well as a hospital at the east side of the district. The Cherry Popper Ice Cream Factory is also located within the vicinity.
Also inspired by a real-life district in Miami, Little Haiti is predominantly inhabited by
Haitians and is home to the Haitian gang. They are led by , from her small wooden shack, which is in amongst other shacks at the center of Little Haiti. The gang's solventfactory, located at the west side of Little Haiti, was destroyed in a Cuban ambush, aided by Tommy Vercetti. Little Haiti is noted to be more run-down than Little Havana, with the presence of poorly maintained buildings, low wealth businesses and smaller homes.
printing press, which would be purchased by Tommy Vercetti later in the storyline for a money counterfeitingbusiness, is located at the border between Little Haiti and Little Havana. 's home and weapons armory is located on the northwest end of Little Haiti. Kaufman Cabs, a local taxi cabcompany, is also based in Little Haiti, located a block north of Poulet's shack
Airport, seaport, and military base
airportis known as the Escobar International Airport (EIA), or Escobar International in short. Although mildly similar in location as Miami's international airport, neighboring Little Havana, the airport structures and layout of the compound do not appear to be based on any airports seen in Miami. Also, all airports in Miami are located inland, but the EIA is located on a peninsula.
The EIA consists of two terminals, one at the north which is basically a standard blocky terminal with the addition of below ground entrances, while the other in the south is more distinctive, with its weaved roof and roof-high windows facing the airport's southern airside. Both structures are separated by lawns and a car park, and it is unknown if the terminals are connected in any other way aside roads. Further north in the airport peninsula is the Fort Baxter Air Base.
Southeast of the EIA compound is Vice Port (also referred to in road signs as "VicePort"), the city's seaport, and a possible play of the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade (Port of Miami), located on the southern edge of the bay, similar to the Port of Miami's in Biscayne Bay. However, Vice Port is located in the mainland, while the Port of Miami is located on an island, covering much of the southern entrance of Biscayne Bay. In addition, Vice Port does not cater for
cruise ships, unlike Miami Port which has operated a cruise ship terminal since 1968, focusing instead on solely cargo shipping.
Starfish Island (also referred as "Star Island" by
Tommy Vercetti, just before he and Lance Vancekill Ricardo Diaz) is the third largest island in Vice City and is similar to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island and Star Island; or perhaps other island communities such as Belle Isle or other Venetian Islands along the Venetian Causeway, and adjoining the MacAuthur Causeway.
Starfish Island is a community of upper-wealth residents, most of whom live in large houses and mansions, some with their own
jetty. The area also has its own security guards, who patrol the island and open fire upon any troublemakers; this gives the residents of the area a feeling of safety, and not at least because of the island's proximity to the gang-riddled townships of Little Havana and Little Haiti. The island has a total of 9 mansions.
The largest residence on Starfish Island is the Vercetti Estate, which was previously owned by drug baron and was acquired by Tommy Vercetti. The mansion comes complete with a rooftop
helipadand helicopter and a landing dock for boats. The main interior of the mansion strongly resembles the home of fictional drug lord Tony Montanain the 1983 film "Scarface", only missing the "The World Is Yours" globe and the lavish master bedroom.
Prawn Island is a small island located northmost and center on the city map. It links Downtown Vice City in the west and Vice Point (near the mall) in the east. Firstly, Prawn Island consists of 3 mansions. They are north of the main highway that runs horizontally through the island and are connected by a small drive circling a fountain. There are also a few businesses located on the east side of the island and a film studio called Interglobal Studios on the south-west part. Most of these premises and homes, however, have long been abandoned, and the mansions are now occupied by the Streetwannabes gang. Prior to being abandoned, the mansions belonged to the Mendez brothers (killed by
The only business not controlled by the gang is the film studio, Interglobal Studios. It is the sole film studio in Vice City and presently serves partly as a pornography film studio for film director . Some sets include battleships, a moon landing, and living room setup. The studio was purchased in its entirety by Tommy Vercetti later in 1986.
Leaf Links is a collection of three islands located just west of Vice Point encompassing the Leaf Links Country Club, each island connected to another island with bridges. A road cuts through the middle of the island cluster, where the clubhouse-cum-entrance is located, requiring a pedestrian bridge to connect both half of the clusters. Much of the eastern island's narrow waterways are formed from the partitions between Leaf Links and Vice Point. You can also reach the lower island via the construction site below it.
The Leaf Links country club consists primarily of
golfcourses, as well as tenniscourts and the clubhouse. Indeed, golf carts are constantly seen in and around the club as a form of transportation, including on the open road surrounded by the club compound.
Leaf Links may be inspired by the number of country clubs scattered along the eastern coast of Miami, including the Bayshore Country Club and La Gorce Golf Course in Miami Beach, Normandy Shores Golf Course, Indian Creek and Haulover Park. The name "Leaf Links" is inspired by "Leith Links", a park in
Leithnear Rockstar North's HQ in Edinburgh, Scotland. Leith Links is where the earliest record of golf is found in the world, and Leith bolsters its claim to be "the home of golf" because the first official rules were formulated there.
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories" rendition
The Vice City featured in ' is based on the "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" version of the city, but set in 1984, two years prior to events in "Vice City". As is Liberty City depicted in ', three years before events in "
Grand Theft Auto III", "Vice City Stories" contains several noticeable differences in its landscape from its "future" depiction.
* A populated
trailer parkexists just south of Little Havana close to where "Vice City"'s Sunshine Autos, a car showroom, exists. The trailer park serves as the location where would receive missions from , head of the Trailer Park Mafia. Sunshine Autos itself has also been known to be operating from an older establishment in a slightly different location (down the road towards the north), with its newer showroom under construction further south. Both the entire trailer park and the old Sunshine Autos yard is absent in 1986, replaced by an empty field. It is assumed that the disbandment of the Trailer Park Mafia (with Marty's death at the hands of Victor) and the relocation of Sunshine Autos led to the demolition of both locations.
* A modern mid-rise skyscraper, owned by the Mendez brothers, with blue reflective glass is seen across the street from the stadium's main enterance. By 1986, it is replaced with a much shorter building.
* The Palm Springs Hotel, in the southern Downtown district, is under construction. The location is featured in one mission where Victor has to kill Biker members in order to save his brother .
* In 1984, 's residence is in Vice Port along with his own shooting range. "Phil's Place" in Little Haiti, which would serve as Phil's residence in 1986, is owned by Victor.
fairgroundis based on a patch of land in western Washington, which features a ferris wheel, dubbed the "Chunder Wheel." The area, circa 1986, features a construction site where in "Vice City", Tommy Vercetti meets Avery Carrington in a limousine for missions. A park in the immediate west of the fairground would be developed into another construction site by 1986; the site is later damaged in one "Vice City" mission, using explosives planted by a remote controlled helicopter.
* The Midland Hotel, a single
Streamline Moderne-styled building (which features a jetty, garage, and helipad) exists in the immediate north of the Washington Beach fairground, on what would be the site of low-rise apartments in 1986.
* The right wing of 's mansion (towards the west) in Starfish Island is either under construction or undergoing an expansion in 1984. The hedge mazes that adorn both sides of the Diaz compound in 1986 do not exist in 1984; instead, only a pond is featured in place on the west wing of the mansion.
* A VIP terminal with its own separate car park and jetty exists at the Escobar International Airport in 1984. The facility is absent in 1986.
* The Washington Mall doesn't exist, in 1984 it's an empty lot with a small construction site.
* A small cafe in Little Haiti, dubbed "Le Singe d'Arbre" (French for "the monkey of [the] tree") exists in 1984. In 1986, a cafe dubbed "Cafe Under The Tree" exists in its place.
* The Fort Baxter military base has a significantly different layout to the one featured in 1986.
* A few of the rare interiors have changed. The North Point Mall, for example, has almost completely different stores in 1984 than the ones in 1986. A few stores, though, are the same in the events of Vice City. These include such stores as Ammunation and "The Vinyl Countdown".
The distribution of gangs in Vice City circa 1984 is significantly different due largely to activities surrounding the Vance Crime Family, which rose to prominence that year. Their subsequent dominance has devastated a number of existing gangs which previously had a significant stake in the city. In the beginning of "Vice City Stories", a number of previously unheard of gangs in "Vice City" are also present before they disbanded or were wiped out by and his organization (such as the cholo, etc.).
* The Trailer Park Mafia, a redneck gang led by , operates from the trailer park near Sunshine Autos and controls much of Vice City's poorer communities, and operates several small businesses. The gang engages in a brief war with the Cholos, seizing more businesses in Little Haiti. With the death of Marty at the hands of Victor Vance, the gang is disbanded as the Vance Crime Family takes control of all his operations.
* The Cholos, a Hispanic gang, are known to be in control of Little Havana and Little Haiti in 1984. The Cuban Gang (known in "Vice City Stories" as "Los Cabrones"), led by , would wage a fierce and violent gang war on the Cholos. The war concluded with the destruction of the Cholo's large illegal arms storage warehouse in Little Haiti by Los Cabrones and Victor Vance, forcing surviving Cholo members to surrender and consolidate with Los Cabrones.With the defeat of the Cholos, the Cubans/Los Cabrones control Little Havana by 1986, while the Haitians are also presumed to move into Little Haiti after the Cholos disappear.
* The Sharks control the Washington Beach and Ocean Beach areas of the city, dominating in smuggling, robbery, and drug trafficking. After their businesses are seized by the Vance Crime Family, the gang is suggested to have mutated into the Streetwannabes street gang by 1986.
* As Victor Vance is dishonorably discharged from the military, the Mendez cartel, headed by brothers and , set up shop in Vice City and become the most powerful criminal organization in the city, basing their operations at Prawn Island and becoming rivals of the Diaz Cartel. Originally allied with the Vance Crime Family, they eventually betrayed Victor, leading to their own deaths (with the help of ) and the collapse of their organization.With the defeat of the Mendez Cartel, the Streetwannabes control the northern half of the now dilapidated Prawn Island, specifically, the former residences of the Mendez Cartel and the Diaz Cartel becomes the most powerful criminal organization in Vice City.
In addition, the Biker Gang, which is featured in "Vice City", is stronger and more influential in 1984 than they are in 1986, controlling many businesses in Downtown and Vice Point. It is assumed that the rise of the Vance Crime Family has resulted in the Biker Gang losing control of their businesses, leaving them with only the Greasy Chopper Bar by 1986. An offshoot of the Biker Gang, the Stallionz, is featured in "Vice City Stories", consisting of homosexual white supremacists. The Stallionz are wiped out in 1984 by Victor in a bar dubbed "Stallionz," named after the gang.
As a result of the shift of power in Vice City, it is assumed the Vance Crime Family controls a fair share of the city, and both Victor and Lance agree to leave Vice City for several years to lay low and live off of their drug money in the
Dominican Republicafter Victor kills the Mendez Brothers. In 1986, the Vance Brothers are active in Vice City, although their organization's current size and stake in the city is unknown. Victor is killed at the beginning of "Vice City", and with Lance being killed by Tommy Vercetti, the Vance Crime Family's activities are ended. The Vercetti Gang would then become the most powerful organization in Vice City, with virtually all districts under complete control of Tommy Vercetti.
* List of radio stations and media in Vice City:
* "Grand Theft Auto" games where Vice City is a primary setting:
** "Grand Theft Auto"
* Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on "
WikiGTA", a large wiki about the GTA universe.
** " [http://en.wikigta.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto:_Vice_City Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on WikiGTA]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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