THE GRAND Theft Auto series may be a global gaming phenomenon, but developers Rockstar North have never been shy of leaving hints of the game’s Scottish roots. The latest installment is no different, as you’ll see in our list of GTA V’s Scottish references and in-jokes, and where to find them in the game.
The success of GTA V since its release on Tuesday has been major news, and the Borders town of Hawick has found global fame after protesting at the use of their name in the game.
Hawick is a small district in the north of Los Santos city, with the shopping street of Hawick Avenue at the centre.
Driving into Hawick from the north, players may find themselves somewhere unexpected - Elgin. Elgin Avenue is one of the main roads into Hawick, which shows that Rockstar haven’t forgotten the north-east.
One Scottish easter egg that’s easily missed is a reference to the Lothians seaside town of Port Seton. In the mission entitled ‘Trevor Phillips Industries’, Trevor and his business partner Ron drive to a bar near their trailer park home in the desert to intimidate rival drug dealers. On arriving, a sign advertising the ‘Seaton Sands Monster Truck Festival’ can be seen.
The food and drink
While graphics are yet to evolve to allow accurate depictions of haggis, there are a couple of great Scottish references in Los Santos’ cuisine.
By the beach, the ice cream parlour is called The Sundae Post, a reference to the newspaper from Rockstar’s original Dundee home. Meanwhile, players can buy their characters a t-shirt bearing the name of one of Los Santos’ premier beers - Jakey’s.
We’ve hunted down two examples of the Saltire in the game’s sprawling Los Santos setting. The first is fairly obvious - a house on the waterfront at Vespucci Beach proudly bears the flag from a rooftop flagpole. The second is nearby, but a bit more subtle. In the beachside safehouse used by the character Trevor, the flights on the darts embedded in the well-worn dartboard also feature the Scottish flag.
The Rockstar team is huge, diverse and spread across the globe, but they clearly still get annoyed by Edinburgh’s trams. A news bulletin on the in-game radio stations informs players that an extension to the red and white trams could run years late and billions of dollars over budget.
Glasgow’s Deacon Blue also get a subtle mention in the game, with a ship called Dignity found floating in a harbour of the coast of Los Santos.
The financial system
Grand Theft Auto is marked by its sharp sense of humour, one of the best examples of which is the name of the in-game stock market. In New York there is the NASDAQ, but in GTA V’s Los Santos traders buy and sell shares on the BAWSAQ.
• Have we missed any Scottish easter eggs in GTA V? Tell us what you’ve seen in the comments.
MORE ON GTA V: