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What diehard fans don't even know about GTA

The world of Grand Theft Auto was crafted with chaos in mind: carjacking, shootouts with police, heists and crime sprees usually committed with unlikely vehicles and with even less likely outcomes. But hey, GTA5 allows players to get creative, and we're all about creativity, even if it means picking up tanks with helicopters for the sake of indomitable aerial mayhem.

Los Santos is a big city, rivaling the real world maps of San Francisco and Manhattan. This unprecedented size allowed for developers to hide some secrets for players to seek out or simply stumble upon. We're not talking about the aliens or cannibal cults hiding in the hills, either. We're going even deeper, because despite GTA5 getting on in age, the title has many a mystery to offer even now. When it comes to GTA, players are always in for surprise. The unexpected is around every corner, because the people at Rockstar are just as, if not more, creative than the game's players. They're the real diehard GTA fans, if the effort to put these tiny details into the map is anything to go by.

In the GTA universe, Jack wrote Red Dead

Rockstar is responsible for not one, but two massive hit game franchises that are practically unrivaled: Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. It's only right that there are some areas wherein the two crossover. Both involve a lot of crime and questionable morals. And both have a character with a penchant for writing by the name of J. Marston.

The last we saw of John Marston's son, Jack Marston, was him avenging his father Inigo Montoya-style in a dueling match that seemed to put him on the same outlaw path as his father. Jack may have escaped a lawless life after all, if we are to believe that he was the writer of Red Dead, a little blue book sitting on the shelf of Franklin's Vinewood Hills house in GTA5.

Jack had wanted to be a writer, obsessed with stories of the Old West since childhood. Maybe after avenging his father's death, he wrote the story of the tragedy that had plagued the Marston family. Jack realizing his dream of becoming a writer and putting his family's violent past behind him is probably as close to a happy ending players will ever get out of a Red Dead game. In this case, GTA5 gave it to us.

Player-spawned urban legends: The Goatman and The Paleto Triangle

Grand Theft Auto 5 is so vast and popular that folklore has become a natural part of the game. There are, of course, legends that were purposefully built into the game by Rockstar, like the ghost of Mount Gordo. Other legends have been spread by players who notice something odd: a bug here, a glitch there, and maybe an imagined shadow or two. These encounters have spread to the point of being an unofficial part of the GTA5 universe.

One such myth that cannot be confirmed, but is nevertheless championed by ardent believers, is the tale of the Goatman. There are plenty of tall tales of goatmen, spectral monsters that are part man, part goat, in IRL legends. The Goatman in GTA5 allegedly haunts a trestle bridge at Cape Catfish. There's nothing in code or word from Rockstar to confirm this, but there are postings and even videos that claim that the Goatman isn't a hoax: he's real. Real scary.

Elsewhere, in Paleto Bay to be precise, is an alleged bug that players have likened to the mythic Bermuda Triangle. They claim that at a certain point in the bay, players are suddenly transported back to shore sans vehicle, and ghostly yachts ride unmanned through the waves. The Paleto Triangle became so prolific that Rockstar acknowledged this "rare issue" and said they were working on a fix. That was in 2017 and to this day, some players still post about the myth of the Paleto Triangle.

hushsmush.com

Grand Theft Auto 5 is such an incredibly layered game that devs even thought to add its very own social media networks. Players might be familiar with the not-so-subtly named Facebook knock-off Lifeinvader, wherein you can stalk your friends. Or strangers. Or a Mark Zuckerberg stand-in that Michael kills in the aptly named mission "Friend Request."

Another site for the more … amorous users, hushsmush.com, is a "discrete and secure online community of extramarital daters, single girls looking for a sugar daddy, and depraved nymphos." This site, right down to the "one click to two time" tagline, is a tongue-in-cheek version of the extramarital dating site Ashley Madison. While Ashley Madison apparently tries to play down the fact that they encourage adultery, Hush Smush embraces it: "We don't wreck marriages, we save them. So do it for the kids …"

Michael de Santa and his wife Amanda have a strained relationship, to say the least. In the game, they both have affairs. Amanda and her tennis coach are caught in bed together, but her cheating apparently goes farther than that encounter. "Foxymama21" on Hush Smush loves yoga, sitting by the pool all day, and ignoring her husband. An unused profile picture proves that Amanda is "Foxymama21" apparently buying into the Hush Smush philosophy, "Hush Smush is cheaper than divorce and safer than a prostitute."

Thelma & Louise forever looped

If there was ever a cinematic tale that belonged in the GTA universe, it's the story of Thelma & Louise. The 1991 movie follows friends Thelma and Louise on their road trip gone wrong: together they murder a man, rob a convenience store, lock a police officer in his own cruiser's trunk, and blow up a truck all while cruising in style. Unfortunately for them, their story ends boldly, but badly. The authorities catch up with them as they attempt to escape into Mexico. Cornered, they find themselves at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Rather than face life in prison, they kiss and floor it, rocketing into oblivion.

Grand Theft Auto 5 has an easter egg honoring these accidental outlaws. The iconic final scene of the film is immortalized between the hours of 7 and 8 p.m. in the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness. Near Ranton Canyon, there's some kind of commotion going on. Getting closer, players will see a standoff on top of the mountain. Police cars surround a Tornado, in which two women and a couple guitars sit. Once the officers start to approach, the women make a dire decision: the driver hits the accelerator and flies off the precipice. The only way players can witness this tableau is via helicopter, so there's little they can do to change the fate of these tragic heroines.

Los Santos is no country for old men

Haven't seen Thelma & Louise? No problem. There are plenty of movie references tucked in the corners of the GTA5 map. Even if you're unfamiliar with the films that they allude to, they fit right in with the crime and chaos of Los Santos. Players may have encountered a random event that recreates the opening scene from the bloody 2007 crime thriller No Country for Old Men and not even realized that it was based on a movie.

The scene in question is a drug deal gone wrong. Very wrong. In the center of a gathering of pickup trucks lay several bodies, the results of an apparent shootout. In the film, there was but one survivor clinging to life. In GTA5 there are a few for the player to track down and finish off. The last man standing will have a briefcase stuffed with $25,000. While less than the $2 million found in the movie, this ill-gotten gain is nevertheless worth it if you can escape the convoy of trucks that will pursue you afterwards. Fortunately, you just have to take down two trucks rather than deal with the creepy hitman Anton Chigurh.

Rich man Hugh Hefner's Richman Mansion

In case you haven't caught on, Los Santos is the GTA equivalent of Los Angeles. Vinewood is the center of the movie making biz rather than Hollywood, and the Los Santos Riots near the end of the game bear a striking resemblance to the 1992 LA riots. Another nod to Los Santos' Californian inspiration is the inclusion of the aptly named Richman Mansion.

On the lawn of Richman Mansion, players might encounter topless bikini models, parties, and all kinds of debauchery. This is because Richman Mansion is a spin of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion. The mansion in Richman, near the golf course, takes architectural inspiration from both the Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion and Hefner's expensive Holmby Hills home. At night, the exterior is sometimes lit with pink and blue lights, drawing the Hollywood elite and illicit like moths to a flame. In case players didn't realize the connection to the magazine tycoon, some of the skimpily clad ladies will mention "Hef" to fellow party goers.

Players are free to roam the mansion's grounds and check out the backyard. The pool there features a cave built from rocks that resemble the infamous Playboy Mansion grotto, where all kinds of … activities take place.

The Lost hatch

GTA gives players the chance to drive all kinds of vehicles that they have no expertise (or business) piloting: jets, helicopters, tanks, and even submarines. Los Santos is a coastal city with just as much illicit adventure to be had in the water as on the streets. Who knew stealing yachts could be just as fun as stealing cars?

There are several ways to get your hands on a minisub, not all of them legal. If you do, you might want to check out one of Los Santos' most mysterious of secret locations: the Hatch. The Hatch can be found just off the coast, deep underwater. In fact, getting too close will crush players, sub and all, under the immense pressure of the water. The circular door on the ocean floor looks remarkably similar to the equally mysterious hatch from the hit TV show Lost. In Lost, the Hatch hid an underground structure. In GTA5? Who knows. Maybe Roman Bellic.

Players that hover nearby have discovered a tap-tap-tapping sound emanating from within. At first, the sound seemed random, but clever players later discovered there was a pattern in Morse code. The deciphered message is the annoyingly familiar "Hey, you never call, how'd you fancy going bowling?"

Grand Theft Auto 4's Roman Bellic, who always called his cousin to beg for a night of bowling at the most inopportune times, is apparently in the Hatch.

The Blacklight Collector's Map

The Collector's Edition of GTA5 comes with some pretty sweet swag. Along with some choice in-game gear, the Collector's Edition includes a Los Santos snapback, a security deposit bag, a keychain, and a blueprint map of Los Santos. This map belongs to Trevor Phillips Enterprises, apparently the best in the business when it comes to weaponry, narcotics, intimidation, and casual wear.

The map features some scrawled notes from Trevor alongside some … questionable stains. A cryptic message on the back leads players to a remote dock, where a minisub is stored. From there players can gather offshore nuclear waste barrels for a considerable amount of cash. And this isn't the only lucrative secret that the map contains. Holding the map under a blacklight will reveal more of Trevor's messy hand. All over the map, he has scribbled in symbols that represent the locations of cash, safe houses, random events, items, and spaceship parts. Helpfully, Trevor has also highlighted the locations of robbable stores, military planes, and attack copters.

These hints might be worth more than the other bonus content in the Collector's Edition. All they have to do is have a blacklight handy.

Everyone has a different sleep schedule

The unlikely friends that serve as the protagonists of GTA5 are very different people with different problems that are usually solved through some good old-fashioned theft and violence. This they have that in common, anyway. Each individual character's storylines intersect as they fight against both the law and the lawless. And this struggle takes its toll on each character differently. Maybe that's why everyone has different sleep schedules.

Players have discovered that Michael sleeps the least at just six hours. Maybe the short sleep is because of his depression. Or his failing marriage. Or the sins of his past haunting him in the wee hours. Franklin by comparison sleeps a more healthful eight hours every night. And then we have Trevor. Trevor has always been the wild card of the trio so it really comes as no surprise that when Trevor sleeps, he's down for the count. In the game, when playing as Trevor, going to sleep will make a whopping twelve hours pass. Maybe this catatonic state is due to the crystal meth.

The Los Santos sea monster

It's nice to spend a day at the beach in Los Santos, as long as there are no maniacs driving cars at 120 miles per hour on the sand. The sunset on the water is gorgeous — but don't let this idyllic scene fool you. Beneath the waves, there be monsters.

Mostly, that means sharks. The sharks in the waters of Los Santos are particularly bloodthirsty, it seems, and will attack unsuspecting divers — or players running from the law — unprovoked. There's some payoff to a shark attack, however. Being killed in the big blue by one of these toothy beasts will reward players with the "Out of Your Depth" achievement. Unless you're after this particular achievement, it's fairly easy to avoid sharks. But what if there were something … bigger hidden in the depths?

Not too far off the coast of Banham Canyon, players with a penchant for scuba diving discovered something much bigger, and considerably scarier in its implications. A giant skeleton so large that it could be mistaken for rock formations lay there in a watery grave. Players wondered if these were the remains of a massive sea monster, but later it became clear that the bones belonged to a whale. Even knowing this, the sight of a skull larger than a truck can still be startling, especially when you're trying to avoid sharks in the water.

Prostitutes are people too

Among the many, many controversies that Rockstar Games has collected over the years, the debated decision to include the solicitation of sex workers in the GTA universe is one that continues to gather infamy. There has been many a think-piece published about how this teaches men to disrespect and abuse women. The fact that there are tutorials on YouTube encouraging players to kill prostitutes once they've paid them in order to get their money back is admittedly disturbing.

The prostitutes in GTA5 are more detailed than previous games. Their appearances vary, along with the ways they ask players if they're interested in a good time. Players have noted that Los Santos prostitutes reflect the darker reality of prostitution: some shiver, or shuffle unsurely, signs of possible addictions. They don't put up with sustained harassment. If players linger after being told to go away, they'll call the cops. They smoke and chat with each other, less like the caricatures of past games. Heartbreakingly, players have noted that sometimes they'll hear one take a phone call and discuss their student loan debt. This is just the kind of sadly realistic detail that makes the world of Los Santos more immersive than ever.

Sasquatch lives on Chiliad

The Los Santos city seal knows the truth: Bigfoot is real. This mythic ape-like creature has haunted the imaginations of both people IRL and in the GTA universe. While evidence is inconclusive as to whether the Sasquatch is really roaming the forests of the Pacific Northwest, we have undeniable, irrefutable proof that he walks among the trees on Mount Chiliad in GTA5.

There are several ways players can encounter the big man Bigfoot himself in-game. In the mission "Predator," players will briefly spot the beast standing still. Trying to zoom in on him with a scope will prompt the creature to be true to his elusive nature and disappear. Another mission is all about hunting Bigfoot. In "The Last One," players aid a hunter who has been searching for the Sasquatch for years. Upon actually finding and shooting the creature, however, it turns out to be nothing more than a man in a mask with questionable fantasies.

Finally, you can become Bigfoot if you've gone through the trouble of 100%-ing the game and tracking down the Golden Peyote. Consuming it will put players into a state wherein they are big, hairy, and strong. Playing as Bigfoot, you can still drive and use weapons, but a good old fashioned fight is what awaits players at the end of this event.