More than ever before, Rockstar have made it difficult to find their secret characters, but if you put enough time in, you can find a cast of familiar faces in Los Santos…
This Mountain Face
Up in the highest reaches of Mount Chiliad, which can only be accessed by helicopter or flying car (if you’re a dirty cheat) there’s a strange rock formation that looks exactly like a face. Mostly because it definitely is a face. Some (possibly hopeful) commenters have suggested that the face belongs to none other than Breaking Bad’s Jessie Pinkman, and the resemblance is definitely there, but you have to question why Rockstar would put in such a seemingly random reference to the show. It’s far more likely that the face is simply that of a developer.
GTA V is stuffed full of references to pop culture, from memes and internet phenomena (crane your ears for NPCs announcing their love of turtles) and it’s obvious that Rockstar aren’t just game makers, but game lovers as well, thanks to the volume of video game Easter Eggs dotted around the map. There’s one pretty obscure gaming reference in the generator above, which looks suspiciously like the annoying sidekick Claptrap from the Borderlands series. The markings are definitely a homage to the occasionally hapless droid, right down to the paint fatigue on the white stripe. How To Find Him There are a number of the Claptrap generators around the map, but the easiest one to find is right up in the North. Head to Red’s Auto Repair Yard in Paleto Bay (directly opposite the hospital – so if you get lost, just find an inventive way to die and you’ll spawn in the perfect place) and wander around a bit.
9. Madd Dog & OG Loc
Rockstar could have bent to fan pressure and brought back any number of former GTA protagonists, but their approach to paying homage to their lineage of characters was far more smart. We of course have Niko Bellic featured on the Life Invader website (and his cousin Roman as a contact, which will be somewhat odd for players who chose to let the side-kick die in GTA IV) and other protagonists also pop up in unexpected places (more of which later.) Madd Dog and OG Loc from San Andreas are probably the most difficult cameos to spot – mostly because they don’t actually appear in person – though their spirits are preserved in the game thanks to their music. Despite the fact that both are shown as losers in San Andreas (Madd Dog mostly because Loc ruined his career for a while, and Loc because his rapping was attrocious) the gap between the games has obviously been kind to both. They’re both famous enough to have their own albums, both of which can be found in Franklin’s apartment and both have their own stars on the Vinewood Walk of Fame. How To Find Them Scope around in Franklins apartment for the CDs, and North Vinewood for the Vinewood Hall Of Fame.
8. Kanye West?
Thanks to one eagle-eyed Redditor – who apparently spends his time in GTA V mercilessly murdering NPCs for no reason and then checking what they look like for funsies – we apparently discovered that a developer with a penchant for rapping and whingeing on Twitter when someone disses you paid homage to his idol by slipping him in as an NPC. It’s not confirmed by any means, but if that’s not Kanye West lying on the Los Santos sidewalk, then there’s been an almighty coincidence in the development stages of the game, particularly in terms of the guys behind the NPCs, because he couldn’t look any more like the rapper. How To Find Him Randomly – the only people who seem to have found Not-Kanye have done so accidentally, while wandering around the game universe. Spending an awful lot of time actively searching might not actually bear fruitful results, but as a hint,
7. Thelma & Louise
If you head to the Chiliad Mountain Wilderness by helicopter any day in-game, between the hours of 7pm and 8pm, you’ll witness a clever movie lovers reference to the iconic ending of Thelma & Louise. On top of one of the highest mountain ridges, you’ll find a red convertible with two women in the front seats parked on a road to nowhere with a gaggle of police cars blocking their escape route. Pausing long enough to consider their likely fates, the pair then accelerate along the road and plummet through the air to their deaths. It’s a great little cameo, and the obscurity makes its delivery even more enjoyable. How To Find Them Head to the Chiliad Moutain Wilderness, but make sure you do so by helicopter – it’s the easiest approach, and you get the best view of the car plummeting dramatically off the cliff. Watch this video to find out the exact position, as it’s not the easiest to find in the wilderness..
6. John Marston
Rockstar included a number of Red Dead Redemption nods in Grand Theft Auto V, from the book titled Red Dead by J. Marston that can be found in Franklin’s second safe house through to the geographical reference points such as road names and a very familiar looking farm, and the most blatant (though obscure to find) comes in GTA Online. If you head into your character generation screen and spend some time fiddling around with your lineage – specifically by repeatedly hitting the randomise character option until Marston appears as your father. It’s not actually possible to select Marston by scrolling through the parentage options, no matter how committed you are – he’s merely a reward for anyone who hammers the randomise button a few times. How To Find Him Within the character customisation menus in GTA Online, hit random character repeatedly and eventually the Red Dead hero will appear as your father
5. Jesco White
This is easily one of the best Easter Eggs in the entire game, and certainly one of the most pleasant cameo appearances, which is intriguing on two levels. Up in the hills in Atlas Lake, there’s a shack up one of the paths with a dancing redneck making some shapes in front of a boombox, playing an Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s song. On closer inspection, the character is a likeness of famed mountain dancer Jesco White the champion of a unique style of dancing, combining tap with clog dancing, who sings along to the song, and never stops dancing. It’s not only a smart little cameo, but it also shows the developer’s commitment to detail, as Rockstar used motion capture technology in order to correctly capture White’s likeness and dancing style, all for a cameo that some players wouldn’t even spend the time to find. That is dedication. White also appears in the game as the host of the outlaw country station Rebel Radio. How To Find Him Head up into the hills in the remote Atlas Lake region of San Andreas, until you find Jesco’s shack.
4. Brucie Kibbutz
In GTA IV, Kibbutz obsessively expounded the virtues of steroids, and in particular of using Bullshark Testosterone as a supplement to work-outs – to the extent that almost every meeting with him seemed like an advert for getting juiced. With Bullshark Testosterone back in GTA V, which you can hear in a Weazel News report about its effects, it was only right that Brucie would appear, and he is mentioned in that same report as the spokesman for the company. There’s also a website for the product, which carries an image of a slightly ages Kibbutz, and it’s possible to read his bleets on Bleeter (there are a lot of them during the story.) Brucie also appears in the GTA Online portion of the game: he contacts the character after you hit rank 17 to say he will order Bullshark testosterone, which the player can then have access to, doubling damage dealt and cutting damage taken by half for a short period. How To Find Him You can either find the website online by searching for Bullshark Testosterone, or find Kibbutz on Bleeter, if you don’t want to level up to rank 17 in Online for a chance to actually get your hands on the product.
3. The Master Chief
There are almost as many references to video games in Grand Theft Auto V as there are movie and internet culture nods, with a distinctly self-referential flavour in Rockstar’s inclusion of Easter Eggs from Max Payne, Manhunt and the as-yet-unannounced Agent (as well, of course, as references from other GTA titles.) And among the other Rockstar nods there are some – such as the Claptrap appearance previously – from other mega-selling game franchises, proving that the developers aren’t completely averse to showing their respects (though clearly the NPCs criticising the “city of saints” is less charitable.) Continuing that respect, there’s an NPC hanging around the Cinema Doppler (a smart reference to it being a copycat of the Chinese Theatre) dressed quite obviously as Halo’s Master Chief… The Master Chief also makes a second appearance – albeit in miniature form – in the game… How To Find Him Head to the Chinese Theatre-twin the Cinema Doppler, and he’ll be lurking outside looking for tourists to convince to part with their fresh new bills for a photograph.
2. Scooter Brothers
Youtube is full of the kind of people you probably wouldn’t want to sit next to on a bus. They have questionable mental states, they’re probably not big fans of immaculate personal hygiene, and worst of all, they want everyone to be aware of them. Sometimes that self-promotion can pay off however, as the now infamous “Scooter Brothers” youtuber AutumnTheCuzzy will have found out when he discovered that Rockstar were not only aware of his hilarious/massively unhinged GTA IV video…. Not content with simply following an NPC around hurling mentally deranged abuse at him, the user – identified as Brad from FourPlayerPodcast – put on a baffling impression of Christian Slater from Robin Hood and shrieking his demands for acknowledgement and affection. That acknowledgement has now come in the shape of a cameo moment in GTA V (at least in spirit), when the player cuts to Trevor one of his random transitions has him following a scooter-riding NPC shouting that they are scooter brothers… How To Find Them It’s as simple as transitioning to Trevor until it happens – it’s random, but you’ll get there eventually
1. Los Santos Vets
Franklin’s story mission “Hood Safari” directs you back to Grove Street, where GTA: San Andreas’ protagonists CJ, Sweet and Ryder hailed from, along with the rest of the Grove Street Families. As a nod to the history of the area, Rockstar included a trio of bike riding characters who look almost exactly like the three characters just as you turn into the estate. There was also a slip up at Comic Con, which appears to have leaked some details about upcoming DLC. Kotaku said that Shawn Fonteno (the actor who voices Franklin) accidentally leaked the fact that Carl “C.J.” Johnson may be returning to the series, possibly in future DLC. Fonteno revealed that he is working with Young Malay, who voiced CJ on “another project,” which gave some media outlets the excuse to suggest the DLC might be coming. How To Find Them Load up the “Hood Safari” story mission and head to Grove Street, keeping your eyes peeled for the characters on their bikes.