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Secrets Rockstar Snuck Right By You

Rockstar Games is known for creating sprawling worlds in its games, each of which are filled with small details for players to discover as they play. This has the effect of adding a feeling of immersion and making these worlds feel alive. Thanks to this impressive attention to detail, even Rockstar's older titles often hold up to modern standards. Whether you're down the streets of Los Santos, exploring the plains surrounding Armadillo, or sneaking through the alleys of Carcer City, each place have their own distinct feeling and tone.


Because of the sheer amount of detail found in every setting, players have been inspired to inspect each area as closely as possible to hidden easter eggs and secrets left behind by the developers. For instance, "Grand Theft Auto 5" has been out for over eight years and players are still toiling to try and unravel the mysteries of Mount Chiliad. This type of dedication is fueled by Rockstar's long history of including very well-hidden secrets. Here are a few of the many surprises and connections that Rockstar managed to sneak right by players.

Grand Theft Auto 3 - The Hidden Sign

The Hidden Sign in "Grand Theft Auto 3" is a notorious easter egg that stands as a perfect example of Rockstar's penchant for placing hidden jokes and secrets in its games without any clues to point players in the right direction. The sign can be found in a parking lot in the Bedford Point district of Staunton Island. Players visit this area during the "Kingdom Come" mission, but it can be accessed at any point during the game with just a car and some well-timed parkour.


To get into the alleyway that holds the sign, players simply have to drive their vehicle up the stairs and park it at the very top. From atop the car, they can then jump into the adjacent alleyway that is filled with trees. The hidden sign is on the other side of the alley, and it reads, "You weren't supposed to be able to get here you know." 

This cheeky joke carried over to the PSP and PlayStation 2 versions of "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories," although it bears slightly different messages in those ports.

Grand Theft Auto 3 - Developer City Names

"Grand Theft Auto 3" contains a number of extremely well-hidden nearby towns named after developers of the title. To find them, players have to get their hands on a Dodo plane from the airport in Shoreside Vale. From there, players can fly around the outer edge of Liberty City to eventually clip into an incomplete section of the map known to players as the "Ghost Town." No one was ever supposed to see this area, but if the player keeps going, their radar will eventually show the secret town names.


Garystown is named after 3D artist Gary McAdam, Chris's Town is named after designer Chris Rothwell, Adamton is a reference to 3D artist Adam Cochrane and technical director Adam Fowler, Aaronsville is named for art director Aaron Garbut, Les County for producer Leslie Benzies, and Obbeburgh refers to technical director Obbe Vermeij. Lastly, 3D artist Alisdair Wood received an especially NSFW town name in his honor. 

While it's hard to find these names, these are fun nods to the hardworking team that helped make "Grand Theft Auto 3" so special. Hunting them is also a fun activity for players who think they've seen everything the game has to offer.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Men with Concrete Shoes

"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" follows Tommy Vercetti as he navigates the tumultuous criminal network of Vice City. Along the way, he has to contend with biker gangs, the Forelli Crime Family, and a handful of other troublemakers. Given how much influence the game takes from classic mob movies such as "The Godfather" and "Scarface," it probably comes as no surprise that it would reference an infamous method of execution that has become synonymous with organized crime. "Vice City" hides more than one man who has had his feet encased in concrete before being thrown into the bay.


These victims can be found in two different locations. The first is at Washington Beach, while the second is between Leaf Links and Downtown. Under the water in both locations, players can find a large man decomposing under the water with cinderblocks on his ankles to keep him down at the riverbed. In both cases, the man is only wearing underwear. 

There is no clear answer as to who the individuals were or who was behind the killings, but the character of Ken Rosenberg mentions the Forelli Crime Family possibly doing something similar to him. It's a safe bet that these men were victims of the Forellis.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Hidden Picture of Ronald Reagan

Perhaps one of the most random and difficult-to-find Rockstar secrets is the hidden image of former President of the United States Ronald Reagan. To find the picture, players first have to acquire an RPG and then head to the weapon store Ammu-Nation in Downtown Vice City. 


Once at the store, players need to climb atop the helmets on the counter and aim the weapon out into the street in front of the store. Then, players have to simply turn around and face the wall behind them. The camera will clip through said wall, revealing the hidden picture. To make it especially odd, the image of Reagan has been edited to show the President giving a thumbs-up while holding a handgun. Behind him is an image of former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, which has a target painted on it and multiple bullet holes. 

Ronald Reagan was the President during the time period in which "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" is set, but the easter egg doesn't seem to have any greater meaning beyond that — and the fact that the developers probably thought it funny to hide the image for players to find.


Midnight Club 2 - The Middle Finger

"Midnight Club 2" is a racing title developed by Rockstar Games that took players through the streets of Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo in a series of high-octane laps. The game was a big critical success for the company and is well-known among racing fans for its innovative damage mechanics for vehicles, fantastic soundtrack, and solid stable of unique vehicles. "Midnight Club 2" also introduced motorcycles to the series, which hid some secrets of their own from players.


This gag can only be found while riding on a motorcycle and requires players to let their character sit still for nearly a full minute without touching any controls whatsoever. After doing so, the player character will turn around and give the player the middle finger. This is not the only moment in "Midnight Club 2" that breaks the fourth wall, but it is a pretty comical secret for idle players to stumble upon.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Gant Bridge

Similar to the Bedford Point parking lot in "Grand Theft Auto 3," the massive Gant Bridge in "San Andreas" houses a secret sign for players to find. Players have to make their way to the top of the southern suspension tower using either a plane or a helicopter. Once the players make their way to the top, they are greeted by a cheeky sign that reads, "There are no Easter Eggs up here. Go Away." 


While the sign on the bridge is a pretty well-known secret, and many players have made the pilgrimage to find it, far fewer gamers have taken the time to find the secrets hidden in the Gant Bridge Visitor Center.

A parody of a real-world location near the Golden Gate Bridge, the Gant Bridge Visitor Center is filled with displays containing "facts" about the bridge. One sign by a piece of cable reads, "Oooooh amazing. That's mind blowing. Actually, no, it's simple physics and not really that impressive." Another sign explains actual technical details about the in-game model of the bridge, including that it is made up of 11 textures, is comprised of 15,000 polygons, and takes up "a staggering 1.27mb of disc space." These figures were later updated to reflect the comparative complexity of the next-gen remaster of "GTA 3." 


Manhunt 2 - Baby Alien

Due to their realistic depictions of violence, the "Manhunt" games were divisive when they were released, with "Manhunt 2" even being banned in the UK (per Destructoid). The games allowed players to get up close and personal to their targets as they strangled, sliced, and shot NPCs in a deadly game of survival. The animations are all very detailed, so much so that the first game was referred to be Critical Hit as regarded as "Rockstar's most violent and controversial game." The dark and gritty nature of the game made it all the more surprising when players stumbled on a silly easter egg featuring a baby alien.


Of course, aliens have made appearances in many of Rockstar's games, but "Manhunt 2" mostly strays away from weirder sci-fi elements. The alien fetus can be found during the chapter titled "Origins." By following a series of hallways (away from where the game prompts players to go), players will find themselves in what appears to be a regular-looking lab.

Regular-looking, that is, until they take a closer look at a desk in one corner. On top of this desk is a huge jar that appears to contain chubby white alien baby.

Grand Theft Auto 4 - The Hidden Sultan RS

The Sultan RS is one of the rarest and fastest cars in "Grand Theft Auto 4," so naturally players are always on the lookout for one. The Sultan RS can appear in traffic if the player is already driving one, and can even appear in one of Brucie's drag races, but neither of those instances are very helpful in allowing the player to actually get their hands on one. Thankfully, the developers hid the car in a specific location in the game that only dedicated players would ever locate.


To find the Sultan RS and take it for a drive, the player has to head to the northernmost point of Alderney. There, players will find a dirt path leading to a run-down mansion. 

Though the mansion appears to be abandoned, a quick trip around to the back of the mansion will reveal the Sultan RS nestled behind some dense bushes. It is wild to think that the developers would intentionally design such an incredible car, only to hide it in one secret spot — but it does make getting the car feel a lot more special.

L.A. Noire - Defaced Toast

In the "Black Caesar" and "The Consul's Car" cases of "L.A. Noire," players can find a very curious slice of toast that bears a resemblance to a character from another one of Rockstar's games, "Red Dead Redemption." These slices of toast can be found on cutting boards in the apartments that the player investigates. Although the images burnt into the toast are upside down, they pretty clearly depict a bearded male wearing a cowboy hat.


The exact identity of the cowboy hasn't been confirmed by the developers, but fans think that it looks most like John or Jack Marston. This is not the only nod to the western game, however, as what appears to be John Marston's iconic cowboy hat can also be found in a trash can during the case "The Silk Stocking Murder." It's pretty easy for players to just walk right by these small nods without paying any special attention to slices of toast or an everyday trash can.

Max Payne 3 - Pianos

As players progress through "Max Payne 3," they come cross paths with four pianos in chapters 1, 8, 11, and 13. Many players have discovered that they can have Max play the piano if they approach it, but few have done this enough times to discover the true secret of these instruments. The first time that Max plays the piano, he does so with a lot of uncertainty, struggling to remember a particular tune.


However, if the player continues to have Max play the subsequent pianos, his performance gradually improves. By the time the final piano is reached, Max has remembered the tune in its entirety and plays it smoothly. Dedicated fans of the series may recognize the final tune as well, as it is revealed to be the theme from the very first "Max Payne" title. This is a relatively small secret for players to track down, but it's ultimately quite the fun pay-off for the series' biggest fans.

Midnight Club, Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead Redemption - Sam Houser

Rockstar Games was founded in 1998 by Dan and Sam Houser, two brothers who would go on to produce and write for Rockstar's biggest titles, including the "Grand Theft Auto" series and "Bully." Not only that, but Sam, interestingly, has made sly appearances in a fair number of the studio's games. The first of these was in "Grand Theft Auto 3," where Sam Houser appeared as a clerk in the Ammu-Nation store, a role that he would reprise in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City."


Sam Houser's next appearance came a few years later in Rockstar's "Midnight Club: Street Racing." However, this appearance can be a bit harder for players to spot: He is only featured on posters for a fictional movie titled "Say Sorry, Be Nice!" Curious players can find these posters in the game's virtual rendition of Times Square. 

Finally, the character of Sam Odessa in "Red Dead Redemption" appears to be modeled after Sam Houser appearance. In the main game, players interact with the character multiple times for a line of quests — and this same character model also appears as a corpse in the game's "Undead Nightmare" DLC.