All we had to do was LP the damn game, DM! Let's 100% GTA: SAN ANDREAS!

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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CONTENT WARNING: This is a Grand Theft Auto game with all that entails - lots of violence, swearing, horniness and some rather... dated early to mid 2000s humor.

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Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas... a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gang-bangers. Now, it's the early 90s. Carl's got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take back control of the streets.

ABOUT THE GAME

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas by Rockstar North is the third GTA game in the so-called 3D Universe, originally released on the PlayStation 2 in October 2004. Set in 1992 and taking inspiration from gangsta rap culture and films such as Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society, San Andreas tells the story of Carl "CJ" Johnson, a former member of the Grove Street Families street gang in Los Santos (a fictionalized version of Los Angeles). CJ has spent the last five years living in Liberty City but returns to the west coast following the death of his mother. Naturally, things go sideways as soon as CJ gets off the plane, as corrupt cops frame him for the murder of one of their colleagues and he slides back into the gangster life he tried to leave behind.

Of course, Los Santos is only the beginning. One of the big selling points of San Andreas was having an entire state (based on parts of California and Nevada) to play around in, which was very ambitious considering the PS2's limitations. Some technical shortcuts had to be taken to make such a massive open world work on the hardware and the PS2 definitely struggles to keep up at times, but somehow the whole thing manages to (mostly) hold together. The size of the open world and the sheer amount of content was hugely impressive at the time, and it still holds up surprisingly well. There is a lot more dialogue this time around, and most missions are much more tightly scripted than in the last two games. Basically, this was where the modern Rockstar open world game was truly born - for better and worse.

ABOUT THE LP

Just like the GTA III and Vice City LP about a year ago, I am once again joined by my usual LP partner ChaosArgate, who never played the classic GTA games when they were new because he was too young at the time. I, on the other hand, am a miserable old bastard so I've completed San Andreas at least half a dozen times since 2004 and even 100%'d the game. In fact, unless glitches prevent it or I throw the game disc out of the window after failing one of the more notorious missions after 38 attempts, this will be a 100% run. All the missions, all the collectibles, all the races, all the driving school gold medals (which aren't actually required for 100% but I'm getting them anyway), everything.

This time, we'll be playing the original PS2 release from 2004. The original original release, which means certain missions will be even more frustrating than they are in the later versions of the game. :shepface: And yes, the Hot Coffee content is technically on the disc but I have no way of accessing it even if I wanted to show it off (which I don't) so you'll have to find your low-poly sex scenes somewhere else. That reminds me I should probably get around to continuing the Witcher 1 LP at some point...

Why the PS2 release, then? Well, this is the original version of San Andreas, which also means it's the one with all the original visual effects, lighting, various world details and atmosphere intact. When San Andreas was ported to other systems, the resolution, textures and draw distance got a boost but the visual style was changed significantly and many effects and details were simply absent. Basically, the later ports look much, much cleaner but more sterile. I'm sure many players prefer that clean and crisp look (not to mention smoother performance), but I'm a big fan of the PS2 atmosphere so that's what I'm going to show off.

There are mods to add the original visuals back to the PC port, but I had some technical issues with that and didn't feel like dealing with it. The PS2 Classics release on PS4 has the original graphics at a high resolution but controls worse due to the lack of pressure-sensitive buttons (if you're doing the harder vehicle challenges, you really, really need analog throttle and brake) and has some other problems. Emulation isn't quite perfect either. So, in the end I just decided to go with the original version, running on an actual PS2 through the XRGB-mini Framemeister. Although I'm in the PAL region, I'm playing the NTSC version on a North American PS2 so there's no 50 Hz bullshit here.

There's a lot more story this time around and ChaosArgate is coming into this blind, so :frogsiren: NO PLOT SPOILERS! :frogsiren:

VIDEOS

[YouTube playlist]

Episode 1: After Five Years on the East Coast...
Episode 2: CJ Goes Legit
Episode 3: Drive-Thru
Episode 4: Cesar Vialpando
Episode 5: OG Loc
Episode 6: Ryder the Genius
Episode 7: Madd Dogg's Rhymes
Episode 8: Burning Desire
Episode 9: Wrong Side of the Tracks
Episode 10: Doberman
Episode 11: The Green Sabre
Episode 12: Badlands
Episode 13: Body Harvest
Episode 14: Two Tickets to Paradise
Episode 15: Supply Lines
Episode 16: CJ the Tourist
Episode 17: Battle Construction Vehicles
Episode 18: Back to School
Episode 19: Loco Syndicate
Episode 20: Mendez & Toreno
Episode 21: Ice Cold Killa
Episode 22: Mountain Cloud Boys
Episode 23: Amphibious Assault
Episode 24: Yay Ka-Boom-Boom
Episode 25: Through the Desert

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Last edited by Doc Morbid on Sun May 02, 2021 11:50 pm, edited 26 times in total.

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Episode 2: CJ Goes Legit

We're not doing any of this gangster stuff, we're gonna find a legit job. Or, in this case, several jobs as we try our hand at food delivery, taxi driving, BMX stunt riding, and firefighting (also at ambulance driving and graffiti art, but all that was done offscreen).

Speaking of BMX, I'll just quickly borrow this GIF from Jerusalem's LP:

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Episode 3: Drive-Thru

I'll have two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a large soda.

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Episode 4: Cesar Vialpando

We do some drive-bys on a bunch of Ballas, rescue Sweet from getting himself shot by the Seville Families, and meet our new best bud.

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Episode 5: OG Loc

Loc, I know you're gangsta, but please get in the car.

We've also reached the end of our backlog, so the next update will be coming Sunday or Monday at the earliest.

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Episode 6: Ryder the Genius

Ryder is just way too intelligent for any of this. To celebrate that fact, I made this incredible photoshop:

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Episode 7: Madd Dogg's Rhymes

Hey, hey, hey. Whatcha got to say? Apparently, it's "Break into this famous rapper's mansion, shank all of his security guards and steal his rhyme book." Sure, of course we'll do that! That's what friends are for, right?

...Does anyone on this forum even watch this?

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Episode 8: Burning Desire

Don't you wanna know how we keep starting fires? It's my desire. It's my desire.

As for Scipio, while I know Scipio Africanus lived long before Caesar and is famous for defeating Hannibal's forces, I usually associate the name with his grandson whose exploits in Caesar's Civil War were covered in the historical documentary "Asterix the Legionary" I'm very familiar with.

NOTE: From here on, I'm doing 4K renders for some of these shorter episodes. Processing can take anything between 3 and 24 hours depending on how shit YouTube is being at this moment in time, so if you want to see the video at full source quality you can wait for that to finish. Or, if you prefer, just watch the 1080p render now.

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Episode 9: Wrong Side of the Tracks

All we had to do was keep up with the train engine and maintain the optimal distance from it to keep Smoke from shooting the train instead of the guys he was supposed to shoot!

Hm, I guess that's not quite as catchy.

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Episode 10: Doberman

Your 'hood is under attack.

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Episode 11: The Green Sabre

We crash a Balla funeral, try to reunite the Families, and finally make a terrible discovery as the first act of San Andreas comes to an end.

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Episode 12: Badlands

Now stuck in the San Andreas countryside, we are sent by C.R.A.S.H. to take out an informant hiding somewhere up Mount Chiliad. Before we can get to that, however, we are challenged by Chiliad itself as we take part in a series of increasingly terrible mountain bike races. Even though these are just the highlights, watching this brought back all that frustration so I ended up sounding quite a bit angrier than expected in this episode.

Also, YouTube's wonderful ContentID system seems to have become confused and refuses to complete the automatic copyright check. I'm assuming there will be a ContentID claim or two (which wouldn't be the first time and is nothing to worry about) for the country songs on K-Rose once the checking process finally decides to finish, but hopefully nothing bigger than that.

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Episode 13: Body Harvest

We somehow find ourselves "liberating" a combine harvester for an old hippie, which probably isn't what CJ was expecting to do today. We also meet up with Cesar's cousin and discover that "real intense" really was the understatement of the century.

Body Harvest, by the way, is a 1998 Nintendo 64 game by DMA Design, who of course were later renamed Rockstar North. The 3D open world third person action and driving gameplay systems we see in the PS2 GTA games were first developed for Body Harvest, so that game is considered something of a precursor to GTA III. It's very, very janky and very, very, very hard, but if you have the patience it's worth checking out.

Fiendly started an LP of Body Harvest in 2016, and while the LP was sadly never finished you can at least get a good idea what the game is like. Here's the first video of that LP.

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Episode 14: Two Tickets to Paradise

Or at least San Fierro, I guess.

Next time, we'll tackle the most infamous mission in the game!

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Episode 15: Supply Lines

Let's just get this out of the way before we do anything else in San Fierro. If you've played the game, you can probably hear that thumbnail.

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Episode 16: CJ the Tourist

Today, we take some time off from the story and go sightseeing in San Fierro. We go skydiving, snap some photos, pull off sick jumps on a superbike, do some accidental trespassing and nearly get shot, and much more!

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Episode 17: Battle Construction Vehicles

Okay, let's smash up the construction site to teach these jerks a lesson. Just wreck some stuff and play bumper cars with other bulldozers, that'll be fun and get the message across and... wait CJ what are you doing to that foreman, CJ noooo :gonk:

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Episode 18: Back to School

Advanced Driving School. That combination of words suggests they're teaching you fancy driving tricks, but you actually have to figure it all out yourself through trial and error - not to mention numerous accidents. It's like being hired as a stuntman on a Fast & Furious movie without any training or access to the script.

YouTube may or may not finish processing the 4K render in a few hours.

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Episode 19: Loco Syndicate

We're almost done with the side content in San Fierro for the time being, so let's find Big Smoke's business partners and infiltrate their little club.

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Episode 20: Mendez & Toreno

It sure is nice to be making all these new friends in San Fierro.

It's also a shame James Woods is such a shithead, because he's great in this game.

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Episode 21: Ice Cold Killa

There is nothing ice cold about the way that mission went down, partially because I'm incompetent and partially because the game just decided to spawn an army of cops when we really didn't need that. Honestly, this might have been less of a disaster if I had just let him take his car and blown that up.

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Episode 22: Mountain Cloud Boys

Before we continue dismantling the Loco Syndicate, we should pay our buddy Woozie a visit and figure out what his deal is. Naturally, he's got plenty of problems that need solving, but that's fine because CJ is a professional problem-solver.

I'm sure someone will post in this thread before the LP is over.

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Episode 23: Amphibious Assault

"Everyone loves swimming in video games. Everyone also loves stealth missions in non-stealth games. If we combine the two, it'll be the best thing ever!" - Rockstar North, probably

Everyone also loves missions where all their weapons get taken away for no reason. :argh:

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Episode 24: Yay Ka-Boom-Boom

In the final part of the San Fierro storyline, we put the Loco Syndicate out of business and six feet under. Next time, we're off to the desert!

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Episode 25: Through the Desert

I know he says he wants to see what we're made of, but I'm still not sure how driving a monster truck through checkpoints is supposed to help with what we actually do in this guy's missions.

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