Rockstar games debuted GTA V with the location of North Yankton. More specifically, Ludendorff, North Yankton is the town in which the HD Universe begins the prologue mission of GTA V as players take control of a now-deceased Michael Townley.
The story of GTA V revolves around the events that take place on that fateful day, depicted in the prologue. The big bank heist in the area, which is what the prologue is mainly based on, is where the main characters of the game drift apart until they meet once again later in the story.
North Yankton is of pinnacle importance as it holds the key to many of the unanswered questions that one of the main characters, Trevor, has been looking for. Overall, the area of North Yankton is featured twice in the GTA V storyline, being the location of two important missions: Prologue and Bury the Hatchet.
North Yankton Overview
North Yankton is the first location that users can access when they load up the game, although they are only limited to the small town of Ludendorff. As such, trying to go out of bounds and deviating from the original path results in players failing the mission. If you’re curious to know what’s beyond Ludendorff, it’s just a bunch of intangible textures.
The major road in Ludendorff is Cavalry Boulevard, which has a railway line running through it. However, if the player deviates off the street, the streets and rails begin to lose textures. Apart from that, except for the nearest ones, trees lack textures; missing terrains are the same, with fictitious barriers around vast map areas.
Except for breakable artifacts around the Ludendorff Church and Cemetery, most objects in the region, such as stop signs, trashcans, and fences, are unbreakable compared to their counterparts in Los Santos. This is most likely due to the fact that players are not meant to explore these parts of North Yankton.
North Yankton Is North Dakota
North Yankton is perhaps headquartered in North Dakota, even though the state is rarely recognized. However, I have reason to believe that it is due to the little town of Ludendorff which is similar to a city based in Fargo, North Dakota, and Bismarck, North Dakota.
Furthermore, the Yankton Tribe of Sioux Native Americans is inspired by the state’s name, congruent to how in North Dakota, there is the Dakota Tribe of American Indians.
The officers spotted in Ludendorff are State Police, as demonstrated by the writing on their vehicles. The state police drive white Police Road Cruisers with two stripes down the side and “STATE PATROL” next to the front door, similar to a North Dakota state police car.
When you visit North Yankton, several snowy cars may be observed. These vehicles are only visible during the two aforementioned missions (with more variants shown in the Bury the Hatchet mission). As such, due to this visibility restriction, these vehicles will not be visible if the map is reached from outside the two missions.
If you were to gain a wanted level while cruising through North Yankton, instead of being pursued by the story-oriented State Police for the jurisdiction of North Yankton, you will get chased by the Los Santos police department. This indicates that the map of Los Santos and North Yankton are basically interconnected at some point in the map.
Alien Easter Egg
Suppose you decide to derail the car and go under the bridge, which is frozen solid during the getaway scene of the prologue mission. You can actually get out of the car and point your gun at the frozen lake to see what appears to be an alien frozen in ice. As such, this is one of the first easter eggs found in the game.
Now let’s move on to the Prologue, the opening mission of GTA V. It is relatively simple to do, but I will walk you through it nevertheless!
Robbing a Bank!
The mission starts as you take control of the first character in the game, Michael Townley, who is in the middle of a bank heist. The heist is in full swing, where you (Micheal) and your comrades have rounded up a bunch of hostages.
Consequently, you are instructed to intimidate hostages into getting inside a storage room, which can be achieved by pointing the weapon’s reticle at them. After reallocating the hostages, you pull up a mobile phone and dial a number to set off a detonator inside the bank safe, which blows the metal door.
There isn’t much time to spare so make your way into the busted-open safe and start collecting as much money as possible. Much like you, your comrades will also proceed to put money into duffel bags before the escape sequence begins.
Getting Caught off Guard
On your way out, a cutscene triggers where Michael is caught off guard by a security guard who takes him as hostage, using him as a human shield. Michael will try to talk the guard out of it with an attempt to bribe but he simply won’t budge.
Here, you will have to switch and take control of Trevor to save Micheal from the pinch he’s in. As you don’t have the luxury of time to wait, you will reluctantly have to shoot the security guard to get things moving. Following the unfortunate turn of events, you will make your way to the backside of the bank, preparing to leave the premises in a getaway car.
The Getaway Car
However, at this point, the police will have caught whiff of the robbery and imposed a formation around the bank to surround you. You know what this means? A shootout! Yes, you’ll engage in a full-on shootout with the state police that will last for a few several waves before you’re able to reach the getaway car and get out!
This is where you get introduced to Bradd Sinder. While he isn’t one of the main characters, his name appears in the story at several occasions moving forward. Regardless, you’re not out of the mud yet! While driving towards the rendezvous point, the driver gets shot on the way by the relentless pursuing police.
Things Go South
The trio has to dispose of the dead driver before letting Micheal take the wheel, which is where you resume control of the car. Follow along the path highlighted on the minimap and you will eventually find yourself in a race against time with a faraway train. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make it past unscathed and will endure a slight hit that will render your car immobile.
The trio will have no other choice but to start walking on foot to make their way to the getaway destination. However, they are ambushed by Dave Norton, an FBI agent who plays an important role in the GTA V storyline later on. Anyhow, the plan goes south as the sniper kills Bradd and injures Micheal, leaving Trevor alone to fend off the swarp of police.
A shootout ensues and Trevor proceeds to shoot down the police officers, one after the other, refusing to go down without a fight. Eventually, a cutscene is triggered where Trevor takes a lady as hostage, using her to make his big getaway on foot.
The prologue ends as a staged funeral is held in the name of Michael while he smokes a cigarette in the distance in disguise. It appears that he faked his death as he is proclaimed, being shot dead in the North Yankton incident.
Details Necessary to Understand the North Yankton Story
While this is a guide about North Yankton, we need to look at some in-between information to understand the second mission that takes place in it. So let’s take a dive into the depths of GTA V’s lore!
Starting a New Life!
Michael makes his way to the state of San Andreas sometime between 2004 and 2013 under the family name of Desanta. Unbeknownst to Michael, Trevor is in the state of San Andreas as well, and Trevor is unaware of Michael’s existence as he’s under the witness protection program.
But how did Micheal exactly get here? After faking his death, Michael spent the following nine years going through counseling and therapy. Following this period of laying low, he and his wife decided to start over under the name of the DeSanta family.
Fastforwarding into his relatively normal life, Michael is seen to be very dissatisfied with the way things are; he spends everyday at home with his spoiled children and dissatisfied wife. In other words, he misses the action-packed fun he used to bathe in when he was young, something that was difficult to go back to with FIB Agent Dave Norton keeping him in line at all times.
Things Start to Escalate
It quickly becomes obvious that Micheal would relapse back to his criminal self at some point, but when? Following a problem regarding mistakenly tearing down Martin Madrazo’s mistress’s mansion, Martin asks Micheal to pay for the damages. Not having the means to compensate, Michael and Franklin are in for a treat now.
Not surprising, but Michael and Franklin are chased after by Martin Madrazo’s hitmen squad, which they are able to successfully take out. However, that’s not the end of it, as Martin makes his way directly to their home, where he warns Michael to pay his due compensations or suffer dire consequences.
Back at It again with Crime
Finding himself in quite the pinch, Michael approaches his old buddy, Lester, in a desperate attempt to make this money as soon as possible. Furthermore, to show his loyalty to Lester, Michael assists his old friend in carrying out a mission to murder the CEO of social media company Lifeinvader.
After earning Lester’s trust, Micheal is able to assemble a team and is able to pull off an elaborate jewelry robbery, making more than enough money to pay back Martin. As such, Madrazo is paid, and the pressure is taken off Michael and Franklin… for the time being that is.
Trevor Comes Back!
I’ve been talking about Micheal and Franklin all this time, but where’s Trevor in all this? He’s a major playable character that can partake in the Bury the Hatchet mission, so how does he get slotted in? Well, in the midst of their recent jewelry heist, Trevor was also drawn to the criminal act. Although he didn’t directly partake in it, he was able to discover that Micheal was still alive and kicking.
Things get interesting as he literally shows up on Michael’s doorsteps like an Undertaker. His timing? Not so impeccable as an argument is in full swing between Michael and his wife, who has found that he has returned to a life of crime. Neither of the De Santas is overjoyed to see Trevor, knowing that his presence implies they are in much more danger than before.
After a series of screw-ups, ups, and downs, making lots of money and doing various heists, Michael moves back to Los Santos, and Trevor is the proud owner of the Vanilla Unicorn Strip Club. That is, what can we say, a very Trevor move, if you ask us.
Bury the Hatchet
Now, we’re going back to where it all started as Michael and Trevor have a final confrontation (well, twice?)
The Mission, Bury the Hatchet, is relevant to North Yankton as players again make their way to North Yankton. The Mission can be played as either Micahel or Trevor, and the objectives vary depending upon the character that the player is controlling.
If you’re going to Ludendorff as Michael
- Travel to the Los Santos International Airport.
- Go to the terminal’s second-floor entrance.
- Visit the Ludendorff Cemetery.
- You should go to your grave.
- Get in your automobile.
If you’re going to Ludendorff as Trevor
- Go to Sandy Shores Airfield.
- Board the aircraft.
- Take a flight to North Yankton.
- Return to Sandy Shores Airfield (after the shootout).
- Time – Finish by 11:00 a.m.
- Skip all cutscenes and fly right to the airstrip at the end of the quest.
- Headshots – Use a headshot to kill 20 foes.
- Michael’s talent is useful.
- Accuracy – Aim for a shooting accuracy of at least 80%.
Tip: Michael’s talent will undoubtedly aid in getting more body shots. If feasible, pick up another weapon as it will provide greater accuracy and power than the given handgun. Other than that, the Triad members spawn with a range of weaponry, including the Assault Rifle, Pump Shotgun, and Micro SMG.
Trevor Finds Out – The Sequel
Trevor pays Michael a visit at his home to outline his plan to free former colleague, Brad Snider, from prison. Micheal, eager to cut ties with his past criminal life, is hesitant to discuss Brad, which quickly spirals into an argument on Micheal’s future.
Michael proclaims that he got the kick that he wanted for a crime in his life and wants to retire peacefully while Trevor argues that once a criminal, always a criminal. Their disagreements start to escalate as Trevor questions who was actually in Michael’s grave when he faked his death.
Micheal refuses to answer Trevor’s question, something which Trevor genuinely begins to suspect. Thus, through a twist of turns, Trevor realizes that Bradd might be in Michael’s grave and bursts out to make his way to Sandy Shores to fly to North Yankton.
Michael Is Worried
Michael, worried sick for his old friend, tries to get in touch with Trevor but to no avail. He suspects that, in light of the recent conversation, Trevor might be heading to North Yankton to see just who is in Michael’s grave. Thus, he phones Dave Norton to warn him that Trevor might have figured out their dirty little secret before booking a flight to North Yankton.
While Micheal books a flight, Trevor asks Ron to fill up his airplane for a trip to North Yankton. Ron agrees to do so, but later, Trevor receives a message from Ron stating that Wei Chung and his men are out to exact revenge on him as he’s making his way to North Yankton.
The Truth Is Out
Trevor is the first to arrive in the cemetery, where he finds Micheal’s grave and begins digging it up. Shortly afterwards, Michael arrives and tries to dissuade Trevor from opening the casket, but his efforts amount to nothing. As such, Trevor opens the coffin and discovers Brad’s body inside, confirming the truth he feared the most…
Furthermore, the actual circumstances of the Prologue are now revealed through Michael’s words and a flashback. Michael describes how the FIB, after capturing him, decided to strike a deal instead of throwing him in prison. The proceedings of the deal entailed that Micheal should give up Trevor and Bradd for protection in the witness protection program.
Not only that, but things really went south when Dave accidentally shot Bradd with a bullet which was otherwise meant to kill Trevor. Trevor is shocked to learn that he was never supposed to get away and was instead, meant to die in the ruse of a heist.
The revelation is followed by an obvious scene: Trevor and Michael pointing their pistols at each other over Bradd’s grave. However, their showdown is interrupted by the Triads, who intervene to apprehend Trevor; but before they could get to him, Trevor throws his pistol at Micheal to throw his aim off before making a run for it.
Seeing Trevor get away, Cheng’s thugs, identifying Micheal as Trevor’s boyfriend, attempt to capture him and take him as hostage. Thus, Michael battles through the thugs in order to get to his car, which he finds destroyed by none other than Trevor. Backed in a corner, surrounded by the Triads, Micheal has no other choice but to surrender.
Trevor is shown flying back to Sandy Shores in the next scene. He receives a call from Cheng during the flight, informing him of the fact that he has captured Michael. Furthermore, Cheng gives Trevor an ultimatum that if he does not hand over control of the criminal operations in Blaine County, he will kill Micheal without a second thought.
Cheng believes his ultimadum will be effective since he and his men perceive Trevor and Michael are “Ji Laos” (gay lovers). On the other hand, Trevor, having cut ties with Micheal as a result of his betrayal, makes fun of Cheng’s claim and tells him sarcastically, “Tell him [Micheal] I love him dearly” before hanging up.
Trevor does later team up with Franklin to save Micheal though, but that’s for another guide!
- The player cannot play as Michael until Fresh Meat is completed.
- To Trevor’s surprise, he receives a call from Patricia Madrazo, where he tells her that he enjoyed the time he had with her. He tells her of his falling out with Michael, and she advises him to enjoy the friendship Trevor had with Michael and the call disconnects.
- Trevor may contact Jimmy, Wei Cheng, and Ron after the task.
- Trevor’s connections will now include Wei Cheng.
Media’s Depiction of the Mission
The events of the Bury the Hatchet mission leave a big mark on the little town of Ludendorff and soon, news spreads far and wide regarding it.
After the mission, players can browse the internet and find the news site Ludendorff Weekly. The players can find an article written by Sandy Mussen.
“A grave was desecrated, and several Chinese gangsters were left dead in a violent and bizarre incident in Ludendorff yesterday that has left police confused. In the worst violent crime in the state since the famous depot robbery of nine years ago, a gangland shootout erupted at a cemetery involving Chinese triads and an uncertain number of Caucasian shooters. The Chinese, who the FIB believes have links to the Wei Cheng Triad, a prominent criminal gang in China and Hong Kong, were not previously believed to have much presence in North Yankton. However, maybe they have come, enticed like everyone else, by our booming oil industry and glorious weather. No one is yet sure what caused the shootout, but it seems as if someone dug up the grave of Michael Townley. Bizarrely Mr. Townley was himself responsible for the robbery nine years ago. The links between the two incidents are very unclear at present.”
Weazel News (Radio)
Players can also get radio dialogue regarding the North Yankton, Bury the Hatchet shooting while driving a vehicle after completing the mission.
“Quiet town in North Yankton erupts in bloodshed. Several Chinese gangsters are dead, a grave was desecrated, and a town is scared and confused after a shootout at a cemetery in Ludendorff, in North Yankton. Steve Petorya at the scene.”
Reporter: “Thanks, Sheyla. The dead are mostly Chinese gangsters with links to a Chinese gang called the Wei Cheng Triad. The grave desecrated was the nearly final resting place of a Michael Townley, a bank robber himself killed in the last major shootout in the area nine years ago. The cause of his grave to be desecrated and the links between the two crimes remain a mystery.”
You can pull out your phone and go on the internet to the Bleeter site to find the North Yankton shooting mentions.
@LudendorffAnnie – “Boy oh boy, helluva business with that shootout eh? At least they were already in the cemetery 🙂
@snowchainlennie3 – “Anybody else noticed all those Asian fellers coming into town? I have never seen so many foreign faces in Ludendorff!”
Question: What happened to Bradd Snider?
Answer: Dave Norton, unfortunately, shot down Bradd Snider during the Prologue mission. Thus, to cover it up, he was buried in Michael Townley’s fake grave, something which Trevor, Bradd’s best friend, never knew about.
Question: Do Michael and Trevor make up?
Answer: Trevor is a sociopath, and Michael tries his best to stay away from Trevor, but Michael and Trevor get together with Franklin to take down Devin Weston and the FIB despite their differences. They resolve their differences and decide to live peacefully, except for Trevor, who is always looking for trouble. A happy ending, I guess?
Question: How did Michael Survive in The Prologue?
Answer: Michael survived by striking a deal with Dave Norton of the FIB. Micheal wanted to start over while Dave wanted Trevor’s head on his resume. As such, the two worked together to set up a system where Michael faked being under the witness protection program, and Dave funneled his laundered money to his bank account.