In the Grand Theft Auto games, players can get involved with all kinds of random characters, and sometimes it’s worth the investment. These extra missions can lead give the player a well-needed break from the tension of the main story. In the best cases of random missions, the player can leave with a real feeling of satisfaction.
Starting in Grand Theft Auto 4, at certain points in the story various side missions will become available. Known as random missions in GTA 4 and strangers and freaks in GTA 5, these missions are given by characters who are usually completely superfluous to the story. Much of the time, they come from people that the protagonists don’t even know. Sometimes the player has to save them from some sort of situation, or sometimes they may simply need an errand or two run for them. While GTA 6‘s stranger missions can learn from RDR2‘s, stranger missions from past GTA titles could offer some inspiration as well.
In GTA 5, Franklin Can Save His Old Friend Tonya’s Business
Tonya Wiggins is a friend of GTA 5 protagonist Franklin from his youth, and although she isn’t as close to him as Lamar, the two of them get along well enough. There is a bit of awkwardness between them, with Tonya thinking that Franklin has abandoned the old neighborhood while also believing that he carries a torch for her, there isn’t any truly bad blood between the two. In fact, depending on the player’s actions, Franklin could come through for her when she needs him the most.
Although Tonya grew up in the same neighborhood as Franklin, she has not been as lucky in life as he was. While Franklin would become one of Grand Theft Auto‘s greatest criminal masterminds, Tonya and her husband JB both struggle with addiction and poverty, and they are in danger of losing the towing company that has been keeping them afloat. Thankfully, Franklin is the reliable type, and he pitches in to help Tonya with a few of her towing jobs so that they can keep their business. While Franklin can help with towing five cars, Tonya’s business won’t be saved until Franklin buys it when it goes on the market, keeping Tonya and JB as employees.
Tonya’s mission line is one of the longest strings of stranger missions in GTA 5, and the player has to pay $150,000 to purchase the towing lot in order for it to be truly complete. However, there’s still a good feeling that comes with helping one of the protagonists lend a hand to an old friend. While Franklin would achieve great things after GTA 5, his taking time out to help Tonya is a good humanizing moment for him between heists.
Niko Genuinely Helped Marnie Allen In GTA 4
In Grand Theft Auto 4, Niko has to deal with a lot of unusual people in Liberty City when he’s not trying to help Roman out of the latest mess he’s gotten tangled up in. Marnie Allen is one of the strangers that Niko comes across, and she’s easily one of the more pleasant ones. Although her role is small, she does a better job of getting through to Niko’s good side than most.
Niko first encounters Marnie on the streets of Liberty City, out of money and suffering from drug withdrawal. Niko quickly shows empathy, seeing her as a good kid who was dealt a bad hand by life. Considering what Niko’s life was like before GTA 4, it’s only natural that he would sympathize with her struggles. By their second meeting, Marnie has gotten herself in trouble, and Niko comes to the rescue by bringing her to the train station and giving her enough money to make it back home. To make things better, Niko can receive an e-mail from Marnie a few days later, confirming that she is no longer using drugs and has enrolled in college. For once, Niko did something good without having to raise his gun.
Sadly, Grand Theft Auto 5 retroactively ruined the end of Marnie’s story. Rather than continuing her education, GTA 5 revealed that Marnie fell in with the Epsilon Program, a cult based in Los Santos. The way that GTA 5 ruined Marnie’s happy ending seems pointless, since her story was concluded and had nothing to do with the main plot anyway. Players may be more satisfied with ignoring that part of the plot and accepting an alternate headcanon instead.
GTA 4’s Brian Meech Sees A Surprisingly Positive Ending And Development
Brian Meech is the first random character that Niko meets, and therefore the introduction to Grand Theft Auto 4‘s random missions as a whole. At first glance, he doesn’t seem to stand out much from most GTA characters with his rough and rude first impression. However, players who see his short questline through to the end will find a surprisingly satisfying conclusion.
In Brian’s first appearance, he acts annoying and arrogant, mocking Niko and bragging about his money. While he’s nowhere near Grand Theft Auto‘s worst quest-giver, his first encounter is still little more than an annoyance. At least Niko gets $100 for listening to him, keeping the encounter from being a total waste. Brian’s second appearance sees him being a bit more cordial with Niko, seeking his help in getting to a drug deal. However, it’s Brian’s third encounter where he really shines. Having worked to overcome his addiction, apologizes to Niko for his bad first impression, and tells him about how he’s trying to make amends for his past mistakes. Unfortunately, things go wrong and Niko winds up having to save him, but Brian doesn’t let it dampen his positive outlook.
Brian manages to successfully reverse the first impression that he makes in the game’s opening hours and end his role as one of the most positive characters in the game. An arc like Brian’s is something that GTA 6 could take from GTA 4. His desire to look on the bright side of things even seems to rub off a little on Niko in their final conversation. Brian isn’t important to GTA 4‘s plot, but he can leave quite an impression on Niko and the player.
Grand Theft Auto‘s stranger missions are not necessary for the player to beat the games, but they can be some of the best side content in the series. The fact that these characters aren’t connected to the overarching plot gives the developers some leeway to try various approaches with them. Sometimes, the strangers in Grand Theft Auto can be some of the characters most worth helping.
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Sources: Rockstar Games/YouTube, Rockstar Games/YouTube
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