GTA III Characters Guide – Come and Say Hello!

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A GTA III Characters guide never crossed my mind when I first played the game, and for a good reason. The game was mind-blowing with its new graphics, features, gameplay, and storyline.

It was a ground-breaking achievement for Rockstar as they took the leap of faith, ditched the top-down view, and stepped into the 3D universe. It is very easy to get caught in the heat of the moment and forget to take a minute to appreciate the characters and their significant role in carrying and driving the story.

So without further a due, here is your detailed guide of all the characters in Grand Theft Auto III.

The Protagonist

Claude (mute)

Claude GTA 3

Claude, also known as Handsome Handyman, Fido, and Reaperman, is a mute criminal with a vague background. He previously owned a garage in Doherty, San Fierro, and became one of the best top-rated street racers. However, Claude’s racing career took a turn for the worse when he lost his garage in a street race against Carl Johnson.

Claude and his new girlfriend Catalina fled to Liberty City and began a nine-year spree of successful bank robberies.

Just like his racing career, his relationship fell apart as well. After reaching Liberty City, Claude and Catalina planned on robbing a bank. Catalina turned on Claude during their escape and shot him before running away with her new partner in crime, Miguel.

Claude survived the gunshot, but he was arrested and sentenced to ten years behind bars. While he was being transported to prison in Portland View, the convoy was ambushed by the Colombian Cartel to liberate the Oriental Gentleman. Claude and 8-Ball took advantage of the situation and made their escape to a hideout in the Red Light District.

Determined on getting his revenge, Claude began his journey working for various criminal syndicates and climbing up the ranks. His journey began when 8-Ball introduced him to Luigi Goterelli, a high-ranking member of the Leone family and owner of a nightclub.

Luigi gave Claude small-time jobs like picking up his girls and beating up street thugs to prove himself useful. Later, Claude meets Joey Leone and helps him take out members of their rivals, the Forelli Family and the Triads, before introducing him as a chauffeur to Toni Cipriani. The latter calls Claude and hires him to include him in a war against Triad warlords.

Claude proved to be a reliable person and made a name for himself in Liberty City. His reputation echoed in the Leone Family Mafia hierarchy up to the Don Salvatore. The latter was impressed with Claude and hired him to look after his “Girl” Maria before asking him to kill the snitch, who was selling the Family’s secrets to the Colombian Cartel.

Claude helps Leone Family get rid of the traitor and sink a shipping container the Cartel was using as a factory for their drugs. Meanwhile, Claude also accepted job offers from the Diablos Gang leader, El Burro, to help him solve some problems.

el burro gta 3

Don Salvatore Leone became paranoid and tried to eliminate Claude by asking him to retrieve a car rigged with a bomb. Luckily, Maria told Claude about the ambush and asked him to meet her at a shady dock. One of the reasons why Salvatore wants Claude dead could be because Maria told Salvatore that she and Claude are one unite.

Anyways, Maria introduces Claude to the co-leader of the Yakuza, Asuka Kasen, and escapes to Staunton Island. To prove he’s no longer loyal to the Leone Family, Asuka asks Claude to take out Don Salvatore.

Soon after, Asuka hires Claude as her “handsome handyman” and introduces him to her brother Kenji and a dirty cop called Ray Machowski. Claude helps Ray escape to the airport after his dirty work is done and goes on a series of missions on orders from Kenji.

The Handsome Handyman found additional work waiting for him with King Courtney, leader of the Yardies Gang. Moreover, Claude finds another employer under the name of Donald Love.

The latter is a real estate developer who sends Claude on a set of missions, including killing Kenji with a Cartel Cruiser to start a war between the Colombians and the Yakuza.

Unaware that Claude killed her brother, Asuka takes over a building site controlled by the Cartel and captures their co-leader, Miguel. Using the information she extracted from Miguel, Asuka sends Claude to destroy the Cartel’s operations and weaken their forces. For a short time, Claude goes on a rampage to gun down a couple of gang members.

He returns to the site to see Asuka and Miguel dead and a note from Catalina asking for half a million dollars in exchange for Maria. Claude quickly gets the money and heads to the Cartel’s mansion. Catalina betrays Claude again upon their meeting, takes the money, and escapes in a helicopter with Maria on board.

Nonetheless, Claude escapes the ambush and follows the helicopter to the dam. He saves Maria and shoots down the helicopter killing Catalina in the process.

The antagonist (Colombian Cartel)

Catalina (voiced by Cynthia Farrell)

Catalina GTA III

Catalina is a Mexican, Dominican, and Colombian. She joined the life of crime sometime before 1992 in Red County, San Andreas. She met her first boyfriend, Carl Johnson (CJ), through her cousin Cesar Vialpando, the Varios Los Aztecas Gang leader.

She held CJ in a romantic relationship against his will and put him through rough physical interaction before a robbery. The couple started hitting insignificant local targets like a gas station in Dilimore, a small bank in Palomino Creek, a small betting shop, and a liquor store. However, their relationship soon came to an end because Carl was more interested in money than her.

After she broke up with CJ, Catalina began her relationship with Claude “giving him a hand” in a couple of street races against her ex-boyfriend and the Triads leader Wu Zi Mu.

Nonetheless, CJ won both races and took Claude’s garage in San Fierro as the prize. After that, Catalina left San Andreas with Claude, starting a nine-year journey worth of bank robberies.

After reaching Liberty City, Catalina initiated conversations with the Colombian Cartel and became their Co-Leader. She planned on robbing a bank in the city with the help of Miguel and Claude in tow. But, during their escape, Catalina betrayed Claude and shot him, ending a nine-year-long relationship.

She continued her criminal activities with the Cartel producing and selling a drug called SPANK. Catalina made a couple of appearances in some missions where Claude held her at gunpoint. Yet, she always managed to escape.

The couple met in Cedar Grove (the Cartel’s headquarters) for the last time when she demanded 500,000$ ransom in exchange for Maria’s life. Sha ambushed Claude and tried to run away with money via a helicopter, but her plan failed. Claude managed to save Maria and shoot down the helicopter.

Miguel (voiced by Abel Ruben Espinosa)

Miguel GTA III

He is a Colombian immigrant who moved to Liberty City before 1998 to become a vital member of the Colombian Cartel. He became involved in the production and distribution of an addictive drug called SPANK. Miguel began his operations in Liberty City by selling the product to Toni Cipriani, a member of the Leone Family Mafia.

However, the deal was busted by the LCPD. Toni managed to escape with the drugs thinking Miguel is dead, but he survived. The latter went back to his felonious actions and climbed up the ranks to become the leader of the Cartel. In 2001, he met Claude and Catalina when they arrived at Liberty City.

He helped them rob a bank in the city by taking the role of the getaway driver. But, Miguel agreed to lead the Cartel alongside Catalina and take Claude out of the picture.

Thus, she shot Claude during their escape and left him for dead. Fortunately, Claude survived and got sent to prison in Portland Island in a convoy with the 8-Ball and the Oriental Gentleman.

Oblivious, Miguel helped Claude escape getting into jail when he attacked the convoy to rescue the Oriental Gentleman.

Miguel suffered the same fate as Claude when Catalina shot him in the back and left him a sitting duck for the Yakuza. She returned a while after to kill him for giving away information about their operations to the Yakuza.

Main Characters

The Yakuza

Asuka Kasen (voiced by Lianna Pai)

Asuka Kasen GTA III

Asuka Kasen is the tritagonist in GTA III story. She was born and raised in Japan, then relocated to Liberty City somewhat in 1991 to help her older brother Kazuki run the Yakuza.

She left the city and went back home for unknown reasons, and came back again to Liberty City with her younger brother Kenji in 1998 after her older brother Kazuki was killed by Toni Cipriani.

She became the co-leader of the Yakuza with her brother and lived in a condo in the Newport area on Staunton Island. Things did not go very well for the Yakuza lost many territories under Asuka and Kenji’s leadership.

In 2001, Asuka met Claude via Maria when she helped them escape from Salvatore Leone. Before she employed Claude, Asuka asked him to kill Salvatore and prove he was no longer loyal to him.

Asuka hired Claude and was very satisfied with the abilities and results he provided. So, she introduced him to Ray Machowski and her brother Kenji, who also employ Claude.

While working with Asuka, Claude also accepted an offer from Donald Love who has him assassinate Kenji, disguised as a member of the Colombian cartel, to start a gang war between the two.

The plan worked as expected, and Asuka was infuriated. The latter attacked a construction site under the control of the Colombian Cartel and captured their co-leader Miguel hostage.

Using the information she extracted from Miguel, Asuka sent Claude on various missions to ruin the Cartel’s operations and stop them from selling drugs. Unfortunately, Asuka was found dead alongside Miguel at the construction site.

Kenji Kasen (voiced by Les J.N Mau)

Kenji Kasen GTA III

Kenji is the Waka-Gashira or the co-leader of the Yakuza alongside his sister Asuka. He was born and raised in Japan and then move to Liberty City to assist his sister in running their organization.

In 2001, he opened a casino named after him in Torrington. On a recommendation from his sister, Kenji employs Claude in a series of missions after proving himself useful. The jobs include collecting sports cars, and money, ambushing Cartel deals and killing Yardies gang members.

Kenji suffers the same fate as Asuka when Claude starts working with Donald Love. Donald asks Claude to kill Kenji by running him over with a Cartel pickup truck.

The Leone Family Mafia

Maria Latore (La Torra) (voiced by Debi Mazar)

She is the deuteragonist of the story and Don Salvatore’s wife. She is an Italian-American and spent most of her life in Liberty City. She moved to Las Venturas in 1992 and began working as a waitress in one of Salvatore’s casinos. She met the latter and got romantically involved with him.

The couple ended up getting married and moving to live in a mansion in Liberty City. It didn’t take long before their relationship fell to rock bottom. Maria became addicted to drugs and tried to sell the Leone Family secrets for money.

Nonetheless, Maria stuck with Salvatore for the money until she met Claude in 2001. By orders from the Don, Claude was hired to escort Maria and keep her safe. She asked Claude to drive her to her dealer and then to an illegal party, which was busted by the LCPD. Later, Maria tells Salvatore that she is having an affair with Claude.

Infuriated, Salvatore attempted to kill Claude, but Maria saved him, and they both escaped to Staunton Island with the help of Asuka. She became a widow after Claude killed Salvatore and started engaging in activities with Asuka, such as torturing Miguel. However, Catalina kidnaped Maria in exchange for 500,000 $ in cash. But Claude managed to save her.

After the mission was over, Claude and Maria walked away together, with the latter talking non-stop. After the screen completely fades to black, a gunshot is heard, and Maria instantly stops talking.

Salvatore Leone (voiced by Frank Vincent)

Salvatore Leone GTA III

An Italian-American born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Salvatore became the Don of the Leone Crime Family in the 1980s when he took control after a massive power struggle. He spent some time in Las Venturas, San Andreas, where he invested over 4,5 $ in the Caligula’s Place alongside the Forelli Family, another major crime syndicate.

Salvatore tried to control the casino beyond his share and became friends with Carl Johnson (CJ), who worked in his son’s auto theft business. After trusting him with the big deals, Salvatore was shocked to discover that CJ partnered with the Triads and was involved in the Caligula’s Palace Heist.

During his stay in Las Venturas, he met a waitress working at his casino named Maria. The couple got married (she did it for the money) and went back to Liberty City to settle in a mansion on Portland Island.

Salvatore met Claude for his great potential and ability to get things done. He sent Claude to take out a snitch called Curly bob, who was suspected of selling the Family’s secrets to the Colombian Cartel. He also tasked him with sinking a container ship that the Cartel was using to produce and sell their drugs.

However, Salvatore became paranoid and infuriated when Maria told him that she had a thing for Claude. The Don sent Claude to collect fake evidence from a rigged car to kill him, but Maria managed to warn Claude in time and escape.

In the end, Salvatore gets murdered by Claude after the Yakuza sent him to prove his disloyalty to the Leone Family.

Toni Cipriani (voiced by Michael Madsen)

An American of Italian descent and a member of the Leone Crime Family. He lives and runs his business from his mother’s restaurant in Saint Mark’s. Toni Lost his high rank in the Leone Family after he was forced to leave Liberty City after killing a made man from one of the opposing Mafias.

Upon his return, Toni started from the bottom doing petty jobs for Salvatore and working for his wife, Maria. During his journey to the top, Toni started working for Donald Love and helped him kill Avery Carrington to steal his real estate plans.

Toni was also summoned by a woman called Toshiko Kasen and hired him to kill her husband, Kazuki Kasen (Asuka and Kenji’s older brother).

At last, Cipriani became a made man and the Capo of the Leone Family Mafia. He hired Claude to do several dirty missions, including a turf war with the Triads.

Check out our complete Toni Cipriani Guide to learn more about his role in the game.

Joey Leone (voiced by Michael Rapaport)

Joey Leone GTA III

American with Italian origins and the son of Don Salvatore Leone. He was born in Liberty City and owns a garage in Trenton District on Portland Island. Despite attending the central Family meeting, Joey had no intention of becoming one of the hire-ups and focused on minor crimes instead.

He hires Carl Johnson in his carjacking ring of operations after the latter moved out of San Andreas due to his brother’s death. However, their business relationship ends when carl moves back to SA.

Joey’s father Salvatore met CJ in Las Venturas and hired him because of his good ties to his son Joey. But Salvatore became mistrustful and claimed that Toni is more fit to be his son than Joey because of CJ’s betrayal.

Nonetheless, Joey had a thriving business in Liberty City. He meets Claude for the first time when the latter drops Misty at his garage. He hires him to kill members of the Forelli Family, Triads drug dealers, bank heists, and dispose of dead bodies.

Joey’s fate after Salvatore’s death is unknown, and his last appearance was during a meeting with his father.

Luigi Goterelli (voice by Joe Pantoliano)

Luigi was born in Liberty City, but the blood of the Italians runs in his veins. He became affiliated with the Leone Family, which gave him the opportunity to open his business. Luigi owns the Sex Club 7 in the Red Light District.

Luigi was introduced to Claude and vice versa via 8-Ball at the beginning of the game. Luigi hires Claude for several jobs, such as chauffeuring prostitutes around and killing pimps. He shows up for the last time in the game when Claude drives him to a meeting with Salvatore.

8-Ball (voiced by Keith “The Guru” Elam)

Born and raised in Liberty City, 8-Ball is an explosives expert and a huge gun dealer. He is the son of a hustler and a pool-obsessed father, hence the name 8-Ball. He made connections with powerful people such as Leone Mafia and Donald Love. He owns explosive garages in San Andreas, Vice City, and Liberty City.

He was arrested and charged with eighty-five crimes for illegal possession of firearms. It is said that a police officer burned his hands by pouring boiling oil over them when he arrested him. For that reason, 8-Ball is seen wearing band-aids over his hands during the game.

8-Ball and Claude escaped the prison transport and ran away to a safe house in the Red Light District. After changing outfits, 8-Ball introduced Claude to Luigi and disappeared. He appears again later in the game to help Claude in destroying the Cartel’s freighter at the Harbor.

Ray Machowski (voiced by Robert Loggia)

Ray is an American born in 1958 and lived in Staunton Island, Liberty City most of his life. He served in the military, supposedly alongside Phil Cassidy. After leaving the army, Machowski joined Liberty City Police Department with a new partner called Leon McAffrey. The latter introduced him to Toni Cipriani and then crime life.

He started working as an informant for the Yakuza, which got into trouble with Internal Affairs and the CIA. Ray hired Claude on recommendations from Asuka and Kenji for a series of missions.

He tasked him with eliminating his partners, destroying incriminating evidence, and helping Phil Cassidy. Furthermore, Claude assisted Ray in escaping to Miami.

Donald Love (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan)

Donald Love GTA III

He is a wealthy billionaire, media mogul, real estate maniac, and carnivore. He started his journey as an apprentice for Avery Carrington in Vice City.

Donald established a connection with Toni Cipriani and planned on killing Avery, stealing his plans, and eating his corpse. However, Love was forced to escape the city after the Colombian cartel attacked him to get Avery’s plans.

He later starts working hand in hand with Don Salvatore Leone and runs for mayor, using Toni Cipriani as his handyman. Still, Donald lost the race and was declared bankrupt before Avery’s plans of redeveloping Fort Staunton saved him financially.

In the events of Liberty City, Donald hires Claude to save the Oriental Gentleman to help him with his redevelopment plans. In addition, Love tasked Claude with starting a turf war between the Yakuza and the cartel to lower real estate prices.

After the mission is done, Claude discovers that Donald and the elderly Gentleman have disappeared.

Supporting Characters

The Old Oriental Gentleman (mute)

There is very little to know about this old fellow. He is involved in the real estate business and possibly drug trafficking as well. The Gentleman came from somewhere in east Asia and was arrested at the airport for not having the proper travel documents.

The authorities decided to send him to a high-security criminal facility and put him under investigation before deporting him.

The Oriental Gentleman boarded a convoy heading to Portland Island with Claude and 8-Ball. However, the convoy was ambushed by the Colombian cartel as it crossed the Callahan Bridge. The Gentleman was taken by the Cartel while Claude and 8-Ball took advantage of the situation and escaped.

The Gentleman is held hostage by the Cartel to squeeze out some money from Donald Love. Still, Claude rescues the Old Gentleman by orders from Donald.

Micky Hamfists (unknown)

Micky Hamfists GTA III

An Italian-American mobster. He joined the Leone Crime Family and climbed up the ranks to become involved in the drug business. He worked alongside Toni Cipriani on a mission before becoming Luigi’s bodyguard at the Sex Club 7 in the Red Light District.

Misty (voiced by Kim Gurney)

Misty plays the role of a prostitute in the game. She used to operate on Staunton Island and worked for Asuka Kasen as one of her girls. Later she returned to Portland Island and started working for Luigi in his Nightclub. She became Joey Leone’s regular girl and knows Claude as her trusty driver.

Mike Forelli (mute)

He is one of the high-ranking members of the Forelli Crime Family. Joey Leone orders Claude to kill Mike Forelli, at Marco’s Bistro by arming his car with a bomb because they fell behind on their payments.

Lee Chong (mute)

Lee is a member of the rival Triads gang and runs noodles stand in Chinatown, Portland. Lee used the stand to sell SPANK (drug) for the Colombian Cartel. Later Joey Leone sends Claude to kill him and stop him from selling drugs.

Marty Chonks (voiced by Chris Philips)

Mr. Chonks is the owner of the Bitch’n’ Dog Food Factory in Trenton, Portland. He struggles with financial problems because of his bank manager asking for more money, and his wife’s impulsive spending.

Hoping to solve his problems, Marty hires Claude via payphone calls to drive people to his factory. While Claude drives the car to the crusher and disposes of the evidence, Marty murders those people in his factory and turns them into dog food. His victims include his bank manager, two thieves, his wife, and her lover,

El Burro (voiced by Chris Philips)

He is the leader of the Diablos gang and supposedly an ex-adult movie star. He has been involved in the industry since the old Vice City days. He hires Claude via payphone to collect some of his movies spread across the city, burn Triads members with a flamethrower, and murder Forelli mobsters with a rigged ice cream truck.

Ma Cipriani (voiced by Sondra James)

Ma Cipriani

She is the owner of Momma’s Restaurente in Saint Mark’s, and the mother of the Leone Crime Family Capo Toni Cipriani. She is often referred to as Ma by Toni whenever he meets Claude at the restaurant to give him a job. She never made an appearance in the game, but she is always heard in the background chiding Toni.

Chico (voiced by Hunter Platin)

Suspected to be a member of the Colombian Cartel due to his accent. He is a drug dealer operating in Portland and an associate of Maria Latore (her regular dealer). He appears once in the mission Chaperone when Claude drives Maria to meet him.

Curly Bob (voiced by Hunter Platin)

Bob was a bartender at Luigi’s nightclub, and he sniffs a lot during his speech because of his drug addiction. Claude Whacks Bob by orders from Salvatore for selling the Leone Family secrets to the Colombian Cartel.

Tanner (mute)

He is a police officer working for the LCPD. He became an undercover agent and was sent to keep track of Yakuza co-leader Asuka Kasen. The latter blows his cover and sends Claude to kill him.

Kanbu (unknown)

He is a high-ranking and valuable member of the Yakuza. He was arrested and waiting for Trial before Claude bust him out of the LCPD prison cell.

Leone McAffrey (mute)

A corrupt police officer with connections to the Leone Crime Family. Leone killed his former partners before starting to work alongside Ray. The latter was abiding by the law before joining the other side and working as an informant for the Yakuza.

Leone was going to turn in evidence incriminating Ray. Yet, the latter hired Claude to kill Leone before he snitches to the authorities.

Phil Cassidy (voiced by Hunter Platin)

Phil Cassidy

Also, knowns as One-Armed Phill, he is a maniac obsessed with heavy guns. He lost his arm in 1986 in Vice City when a bomb he made exploded next to him. Luckily, Tommy Vercetti managed to get to the hospital in time. In Liberty City, Claude is sent by Ray to help Phill defend his arms business from a Colombian Cartel attack.

King Courtney (voiced by Walter Mudu)

He is the leader of the Uptown Yardies gang on Staunton Island. He never made an appearance and hired Claude through payphone. Most of his missions revolve around attacking rival gangs.


Question: What are the Hardest Missions in GTA III?

Answer: Some missions in Grand Theft Auto III might take a couple of attempts to accomplish. The top 3 hardest missions include:
The Exchange

It is the last mission in the game. During this mission, the players will have to fight their way out of a mansion surrounded by armed Cartel members. In addition, they must follow a helicopter to save Maria.
• Espresso 2 Go: This mission requires driving skills. The players must drive around the whole map and destroy coffee stands the Cartel is using to sell drugs.
• S.A.M: This job needs accurate shooting skills and perfect timing. The players are asked to shoot down an airplane loaded with SPANK using a rocket launcher.

Question: What is the Fastest Vehicle in GTA III?

Answer: There are a couple of fast cars in GTA III including the Banshee, the Stinger, and the Cheetah. However, the fastest car in the game is the Infernus.

Question: Where does the Cheetah Spawn?

Answer: The Cheetah usually spawns on Staunton Island. You can also find it in the parking lot across from the shopping mall in Newport.

Final Thoughts

The term character bears a momentous meaning and plays a great role in every story. Characters are the main pillars that drive, convey, and carry the story from the beginning to the end. Without them, the story would simply crumble.

Rockstar gave Grand Theft Auto III various types of characters that act differently, create diverse conflicts and tensions, and offer multiple solutions. And that is what makes GTA III’s story so special.

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