Crispy Gamer

Grand Theft Endings

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Grand Theft Auto III

Mission Name: "The Exchange"

Difficulty level: Very high.

The Gist: Remember the woman who shoots you during the bank robbery in the game's opening moments and leaves you for dead? Well, Catalina's back to leave you for dead a second time. Women, right? She takes off in a helicopter while her henchman, gun aimed at your temple, gets ready to off you once and for all.

After a slow-motion karate move on the henchman, you hijack a car, then track down the helicopter to the top of the city dam. There you find multiple tiers of well-armed Cartel members, all quite happy to shoot you full of holes. Battered and bloodied, you finally make it to the helicopter's landing pad. Grab the rocket launcher, get Catalina's circling copter in your sites, and take it down. Game over, man. Game over!

The Crispy Take: Watching Catalina's chopper erupt in a fireball -- it takes a steady hand to keep it in your sites -- requires a borderline absurd amount of patience. The only thing worse than whiffing with the rocket launcher in the game's final moments is being informed by a Burger King manager that your coupon expired in 2004.

Watch it here.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Mission Name: "Keep Your Friends Close?"

Difficulty Level: Moderate.

The Gist: Sonny and his Liberty City goons arrive at the front door of your Tony Montana-eque mansion. But before you can deal with Sonny, you'll have to deal with that scumbag, Lance Vance. Yes, your leisure-suit-wearing partner has sold you out. Track him down on the mansion's upper floors, grabbing guns and health along the way, and put both him and his polyester out of their misery.

Now it's Sonny's turn. Back at the mansion's entrance, it's "say hello to my little frien' " time. Keep moving, keep shooting, and eventually Sonny will go down.

The Crispy Take: With its single location and emphasis on run-and-gun gameplay -- infamously the weakest aspect of the game -- this is no doubt the least inspired final mission since the series went 3-D.

Watch it here.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Mission Name: "End of the Line"

Difficulty Level: High.

The Gist: It's time to take out your former cohort, Big Smoke (he's the fat one in the bowler hat). Hijack a S.W.A.T. tank, then bash in the front wall of Smoke's crack factory. Shoot your way up to the fourth floor where you'll find Smoke waiting for you. He douses the lights and uses night vision goggles to gain the upper hand on you, the rat bastard. Keep auto-targeting, keep firing, and eventually you'll take him out.

But now you have a new problem. The crack factory is burning down around you. Run like hell to escape the burning warehouse.

Once outside, it's time to deal with the city's crooked cop, Officer Tenpenny. He's trying to escape in a firetruck, but C.J., your brother, has grabbed onto the truck's back ladder. You'll need to hijack a car and keep up with the truck as it rampages through the city, with Sweet dangling from the back. Get close enough, and Sweet will be able to safely drop from the truck ladder into the passenger seat of your car.

Now it's time to deal with Tenpenny. Problem is, in addition to keeping up with his runaway firetruck, you'll also have to deal with a city gone mad, including rioters and rogue cops, all hell-bent on taking you and Sweet down. Sweet will eventually take over the driving duties while you focus on shooting. Keep firing away, and keep those pursuing vehicles 'sploding. Tenpenny will eventually lose control of the truck, drive off an overpass, and die. You, you lucky bastard, reunite with your bickering family. Roll credits.

The Crispy Take: Now this is how you end a GTA game, people. This final mission takes a good half-hour to complete, so be sure to pee beforehand and have plenty of snacks nearby before attempting. With its mix of gameplay mechanics, multiple objectives and pair of bosses (Smoke and Tenpenny), this is a thrilling, over-the-top grand finale. Now, if only the game were about 80 hours shorter, some of us might actually have had a reasonable chance of ever playing this otherwise terrific mission.

Watch it here and here and here (it's long).

Go to Liberty City Central here.