GTA is one of the most popular gaming franchises ever created. It started off as a simple racing game decades ago. But a glitch allowed you to cause destruction in the middle of the race. Players loved this aspect of the game back when Mario was still the gold standard of good behavior among video game heroes.
The makers of GTA decided to run with this idea and thus was born the GTA game today's gamers are familiar with. Every fresh installment in the franchise introduces you to a new protagonist who is willing to do anything to get ahead. Usually, this involves eliminating people, kidnapping, extortion, and dangerous delivery jobs.
But it's the open world nature of the franchise that players really love. You can spend hours in the game not doing any of the mission-related storylines, but simply cruising around the streets, terrorizing anyone who gets in your way and stealing their money.
GTA V takes the GTA franchise to a whole new level with three main characters and an online version. You have Michael, the cool cat, Franklin, the newbie, and Trevor Philips, the wildcard of the game who would as likely turn on his own friends and colleagues as go after the actual enemy. You get three distinct storylines and a whole bunch of side quests through which to explore the gigantic world of GTA V.
The game is chock-full of secret surprises, references and easter eggs. Here are 25 details hidden away in the corners of GTA V that even the most die-hard fans might not be aware of:
25 The Alien Under The Ice
During parts of the gameplay, Michael and Trevor hallucinate that they are seeing aliens walking the streets. While this is shown to be an effect of the hallucination, there are other alien sightings in the game that are less easily explained.
In the prologue mission, turn right when the railroad tracks intersect the road.
Drive down to the underneath portion of the bridge, where the frozen lake lies. The body of a frozen alien can be clearly seen under the ice. During a mission set nine years later, the body can still be spotted frozen under the lake...
24 The UFOs Hiding In Plain Sight
If aliens are present, can UFOs be far behind? Continuing the theme from the previous point, you can spot multiple UFOs sprinkled throughout the game. There is a UFO under the sea that you can discover during a diving expedition.
After completing the game 100%, take a chopper to Sandy Shores and go as high as possible. You will eventually encounter a UFO that shines a bright light underneath it, Star Trek style. There is also a UFO waiting to be discovered above Fort Zancudo. Finally, a UFO above Mount Chiliad appears upon game completion somewhere around 3 am.
23 Taking Inspiration From Real Gangs
A lot of effort was put into creating a believable world for GTA V. This meant taking inspiration from pop culture, and also real life. In fact, actual gang members were called in to voice some of the supporting members in the game.
So great was the enthusiasm of these gang members that they even went to the extent of rewriting some of the dialogues to make them more authentic. We're guessing even if the game's writers wanted to protest, they took one look at the street-hardened voice actors and quickly changed their mind.
22 The Ghost On The Mountain
Turns out the game is juggling not only a crime drama and a sci-fi storyline but also a paranormal narrative. Meet Jolene Cranley-Evans, or what's left of her, at any rate. Near the peak of Mount Gordo is a large, flat rock on the ground which bears the word JOCK.
The ghost of Jolene can be near manifesting near the rock between 23:00 and 0:00.
Trying to get close to it means the ghost will fade away. But you can get a good look at it through a sniper rifle. Just don't try this when it's nighttime in the real world. She's a pretty creepy looking spirit.
21 Inspired By Pacino And De Niro
When GTA V makers were hunting around for inspiration, one of the first movies they looked to was Heat, the classic heist film starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. There is a mission in the game called 'Three Leaf Clover'. During this mission, you're supposed to rob a bank.
From the use of weapons to the choice of clothing, every point in the mission is almost identical to the heist pulled off in the movie. Not just the mission, but several other plot points in the game have been directly inspired by Heat. And Michael in the game is clearly modeled after De Niro's character.
20 Secrets Revealed In Dark Light
The special edition version of the paper pack-in GTA V map contains a lot of interesting information. It reveals the location of safe houses, custom rides and places to get some fast cash. But there are actually even more secrets hidden in the map waiting to be uncovered.
In order to find these secrets, you will need to view the map under UV light. These invisible messages appear to be written in the form of riddles to make them inaccessible to outsiders. Deciphering the riddles can help you find even more free loot in the game.
19 In-Game Bermuda Triangle
The myth of the Bermuda Triangle is one of the most enduring legends of modern times. It relates to a body of water in the shape of a triangle where ships mysteriously disappear, never to be found again or showing up as wreckage years later.
GTA V has its own version of the Bermuda Triangle, and it is definitely not just a myth.
Going to Paleto Bay while playing the game online makes you teleport backward, minus whatever vehicle you were using for transportation. Certain things can go missing from your inventory without explanation as well.
18 The Face On The Moutain
Many players who have played near the region of Mount Chiliad have reported seeing a face painted into the side of the mountain. The identity of the man whose face has been painted into the side of the mountain has yet to be discovered.
While the face bears a close resemblance to Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, no one can be sure if it's really him. The face appears to serve no purpose within the game storyline, and in the enhanced version of GTA V, the face has been replaced by the drawing of a rooster.
17 Simpsons Shoutout
Cletus Ewing is an acquaintance of Trevor's who lives in Sandy Shores. Cletus is shown to be a stereotypical hillbilly, wearing military clothing and often found in the woods hunting for animals. Cletus is remarkable for being one of the very few people in the game who are not afraid of Trevor.
The character of Cletus is clearly inspired by another cheerful hillbilly also named Cletus who shows up in The Simpsons. The two characters share many traits aside from their names. Although the game version of Cletus is clearly a lot more competent than the cartoon version.
16 Beware The Goatman
Adding to the myths and legends surrounding the world of the game is the legend of the Goatman. Clearly inspired by real-life legends like the Goatman. The Goatman is a mysterious entity that appears to live in the woods surrounding the main play area.
It appears to be in the shape of a giant humanoid with hair covering its entire body.
Two horns protrude from the top of its head. Sightings of the Goatman are very rare. But he has been spotted a couple of times standing in the middle of a road or running under the bridge.
15 The Behemoth Beneath The Water
At the bottom of the deepest waters off the western shore of Banham Canyon lie the remains of a giant sea creature that can only be seen through a deep diving expedition. A similar skeleton can be found just west of Fort Zancudo, near the remains of the cargo plane wreck.
Players were initially convinced that the skeletons belonged to the mythical sea monster known as the Kraken. But it has now been confirmed that the two bony remains are actually all that is left of giant whales that used to live there. Here's hoping a couple of live whales that you can actually ride make an appearance in future GTA games.
14 Take Selfies During Cutscenes
No one likes sitting through cutscenes more than once. Especially in a game like GTA, we don't really need to know the complex backstory behind why we need to beat up a gangster, steal his car, and then run down his partner to complete a mission.
One way you can liven up a cutscene is by whipping out your phone right before the cutscene begins. This will lead to an amusing segue as your character starts taking selfies while the other characters stand around explaining a mission. Perhaps this is a commentary on the average gamer's attention span.
13 Dress Up As Max Payne
Max Payne is that other famous game by Rockstar. That being said, it is the polar opposite of GTA in terms of character motivations for said violence. GTA protagonists are driven by greed and ambition, while Payne is driven by vengeance.
GTA V allows you to dress up Michael as Max Payne from the third installment of the game.
Michael already has bullet time abilities similar to Max's. You can also customize his appearance to shave his head and add a full beard. A Hawaiian shirt available to wear in GTA V that looks exactly like the shirt was worn by Max completes the look.
12 Discover Nico's Fate
Nico Bellic was the protagonist of GTA IV. There is a passing mention to Niko during the gameplay of GTA V. But if you want some concrete details about the former main lead, you have to look at his lifeInvader page on Jimmy's computer when he is browsing the internet.
It turns out that Niko had moved back to Broker before the events of V. He is now working as a taxi driver for Roman's cab service. This might seem anticlimactic after the spectacular journey we went on with Niko in the previous game, but the guy has earned the right to a quiet life.
11 Tribute To Lost
Lost was a show that was as frustrating as it was fascinating. The series was famous for sprinkling mysteries and surprises on viewers with little follow up. Despite its flaws, the show has amassed a gigantic following, and GTA decided to pay tribute to the impact of Lost on the cultural zeitgeist.
At the bottom of the ocean off the east coast of San Andreas is a hatch, similar to the hatch found in the middle of the jungle in Lost. The game hatch cannot be opened, but swimming above it reveals a series of taps that mimic morse code to spell out 'Hey, you never call. How'd you fancy going bowling?'
10 The Thelma And Louise Moment
Thelma and Louise was a trailblazing film of its times. It also has one of the most iconic endings in all of cinema, with the car carrying the two female victims turned outlaws driving off the edge of a cliff into oblivion.
GTA pays tribute to this ending at Mount Chiliad.
If you fly to the location via helicopter, between 7 and 8 pm, you will witness a standoff between the police and two female outlaws in a car. The scene ends as tragically as the movie's ending, with the car driving off the cliff and exploding into pieces.
9 Annoy The Other Protagonists
There are three protagonists in the game. All three of them are a special kind of terrible, and that means whichever character you choose to play as you're still going to end up a thoroughly unlikeable person. And the other two leads will agree with that assessment.
While playing as one of the leads, you can still find the other two main characters living their lives on the sidelines. You can interact with the other characters, block their path, hit them and just generally be a pain. The characters will respond to your bothering by getting annoyed and starting fights with you.
8 The Sinister Infinite 8 Mystery
As ugly and twisted as the main characters of the game are, there is something even more sinister going on in the background. Throughout the game, you can discover a series of clues and indicators that there is a psychopath living in the area who targets innocent victims and constantly eludes the police.
The clues show up in newspaper headlines about a man called Merle Abrahams, who was suspected of having eight victims. Those victims can be discovered lying at the bottom of the ocean.
7 Teen Wolf Takes On Bigfoot
This entire entry can be summed up simply by the title. Once you've completed all the missions, the game allows you to turn into Bigfoot after ingesting seven different types of peyote at specific times under specific weather conditions.
Once you do so, you will have the ability to become Bigfoot.
Then you can go on a 'Hunt the beast' mission to take on a werewolf clearly inspired by the character of the Teen Wolf from the movie of the same name. It's a pretty epic match between these two supernaturally strong and fast beasts.
6 Meet CJ And The Rest Of The San Andreas Crew
GTA: San Andreas is one of the most iconic games ever made and one of the most popular entries in the GTA franchise. Since GTA V also takes place in the general area of San Andreas, the game gives us the opportunity to catch up with CJ and his friends from the earlier game.
The mission Hood Safari has a part where you can see gang members dressed in green. Follow them, and they will take you to where you can see CJ, Sweet and Ryder chilling in the hood.
5 The Zombie Actor
Graham is known as the Vinewood Zombie. The reason for such a curious moniker is that he is most often seen wearing tattered clothes and zombie makeup. You can interact with Graham, although you might soon regret doing so since all he does is talk about how awesome zombies are.
You can also have a picture taken with Graham for ten bucks. Talking to Graham makes you realize he has to deal with a great deal of hatred and self-loathing. At one point his mother calls him up, and you get to hear that fun exchange, too.
4 Be Bond. Be James Bond
What do you get when you cross the narcissistic characters of GTA V with the narcissistic character of James Bond? That's right, a sweet ride for you to drive around in! The James Bond car, or a close approximation of it, makes an appearance in the game.
The JB 700 has a description which reads like a script for a Bond movie.
It encourages the driver to wear a tuxedo, talk in innuendos and have martinis. It is also hinted that the car came with a full set of weapons that were later decommissioned.
3 Hang Out With Discount Master Chief
Halo is one of the most legendary games in all of geek history. So naturally, GTA V has to make fun of it. There is a version of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood in the game. Near that location are a bunch of republican street performers who bear more than a passing resemblance to Master Chief from the Halo franchise.
The resemblance quickly begins to break down upon close examination of their suits, which don't look like they could hold up against a strong breeze, let alone the cold, unforgiving harshness of outer space.
2 No Country For Old Men
GTA is not a game famed for its subtlety, or for being popular among older folks. GTA V references both these facts with an obvious reference to the movie No Country for Old Men. This random event is located at the western base of Mount Chiliad. Going to that location reveals an interesting scene straight out of the film.
You see several eliminated gang members and a few survivors of a deal gone wrong. Go up to the last survivor and take his briefcase, which contains $25,000 in cash. A pretty cool tribute to the scene from the movie.
1 Character Archetypes
There are three main characters in the game. And each of these character's personalities is based on specific archetypes. Rockstar conducted a study on the three main types of players who play GTA.
They then based each main character on one type of player.
So Michael is the expert player who knows every trick to game the system and get the most profit out of playing the game. Franklin is the noob who has just been introduced to the game and is trying to figure his way about. Trevor is the destructive troll who is not interested in winning the game, but only causing as much destruction as possible.