Almost 20 years ago, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released, following Tommy Vercetti and his rise to power within the criminal underworld. Tommy was the first Grand Theft Auto protagonist to have a voice actor, meaning fans could really connect with a protagonist for the first time in the series’ history.
After leaving prison, Tommy was sent by his former boss Sonny Forelli to Vice City to conduct a major drug deal. This went south, which led Sonny to force Tommy to hunt down whoever ambushed them, much to his dismay, where the game’s story truly began. Unlike other protagonists, Tommy has high criminal aspirations, gaining a great desire to become Vice City’s ultimate crime kingpin after working for various high-level criminals.
« I Work For Money. »
Early in the game, when Vice City’s drug baron Ricardo Diaz wants to hire him, Tommy makes his ambitions and terms clear from the start.
This short but impactful statement reflects Tommy’s businessman personality, demonstrating that right from the beginning of the game he has plans to start making money to expand his criminal endeavors into the enterprise it eventually becomes. It displays Tommy’s intelligence and establishes him as a powerful person who won’t allow himself to be exploited.
« Shut Up, Sit Down, Relax. I’ll Tell You What We’re Gonna Do. »
Shortly after the drug deal ambush, Tommy and the Forelli Family’s lawyer Ken Rosenberg discuss what to do. Ken freaks out and can’t calm down, so Tommy takes initiative and becomes a leader.
Tommy’s personality is largely based on his ability to take leadership, an admirable character trait that helps fans view him as one of the best playable Grand Theft Auto characters. His ability to make plans under immense stress and confidently lead proves that Tommy is more than capable of building his own criminal enterprise, one of the unique ambitions that make him stand out from the series’ other protagonists.
« Let Me Guess, You Thought I Could Use A Guardian Angel? »
Tommy finds Lance waiting for him, sitting in the boat he’s been tasked to sail to the docks by Ricardo. Tommy questions Lance, who briefly discusses Tommy’s ‘tough-guy’ attitude, and how he believes there is more to Tommy underneath the surface.
Tommy’s backstory isn’t hugely explored in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, therefore a mystery remains surrounding his past, unlike most other protagonists. This adds another layer of intrigue into Tommy Vercetti, as Lance correctly assumes there is more to Tommy than meets the eye, yet curiously it’s never further touched upon.
« Diaz! I’ve Come To Take Over Your Business! »
During the mission « Rub Out », Tommy and Lance raid Ricardo’s mansion in a successful attempt to remove him and take his business, boldly shouting threats out towards Ricardo.
This huge power move further demonstrates Tommy’s intelligence, strength, and bravery, as he literally shouts out what he wants and then takes it. It’s here where Tommy’s criminal enterprise begins, one which we could potentially see in the rumored Vice City location of Grand Theft Auto VI.
« The More We Learn Now, The Less We Have To Learn When We Take This Town Over »
After taking out Ricardo and gaining his business, Tommy discusses with his team their next moves, giving them some inspiring wisdom.
Tommy’s methodological intelligence is one of the most fascinating things about him and helps him stand out from other Grand Theft Auto protagonists. He possesses a strong tactical mindset and understands how to build up successful criminal businesses, as well as how to deal with enemies. And in Vice City, there are always enemies.
Business Comes First
« You Want Somebody Taken Care Of? I Can Handle It But It’s Gonna Cost You. I Know We’re Brothers And All But This Is Business. »
Whilst Tommy talks to Umberto Robina, the leader of the Cubans street gang, at the beginning of the mission « Naval Agreement », Umberto accuses Tommy of being two-faced, but Tommy defends himself as a businessman.
This powerful statement shows how even though Tommy values friendships, he values his businesses just as much, if not more. His morals differ from other Grand Theft Auto protagonists, who often put their relationships first before their criminal activities. Moreover, not only has Tommy got the courage and bravery to stand up to Umberto, but he actually gives him his own demands, further proving why Tommy was worthy of building his own criminal empire.
« The Time To Take Over This Town Is Now. It’s All Out There Waiting For Us. »
After taking Diaz’s mansion, Tommy gathers his group and announces his plan to take over Vice City and become the criminal kingpin, and discusses what their next moves are.
Tommy’s speech sounds like it came straight out of a Grand Theft Auto: Vice City movie, due to its impact, wisdom, and foreshadowing. Undoubtedly Tommy has a clear vision of the criminal empire he wishes to build, has the brains to get him there, and has assembled a team to assist him under his bold leadership.
The Man Without Fear
« I Just Wanted To **** You Off Before I Kill You. »
The final mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, « Keep Your Friends Close », features one of the most iconic confrontations of the franchise, in one of Grand Theft Auto’s best cutscenes, where Sonny and Tommy finally meet. In a tense and dramatic argument, Tommy reveals his true fatal intentions for Sonny and Lance, before an intense Scarface-like shootout.
This line shows how much Tommy has changed as a person throughout the story, starting by working for Sonny and ending with threatening his life. He has become fearless, and stands up to Sonny, fully aware that eliminating him would obliterate his main opposition and further expand his control. This level of planning and wisdom remains unmatched by all other Grand Theft Auto protagonists, proving how unique Tommy’s character is.
The Past Catches Up
« You Took fifteen Years From Me Sonny! And Now I’m Gonna Make You Pay. »
During the final mission’s heated shootout, Tommy threatens Sonny as they argue about Tommy’s last 15 years stuck in Liberty City prison.
This line is incredibly important, as it encompasses the core story of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – Tommy and Sonny’s rivalry. Not only did Sonny purposely send Tommy to prison in the first place, but he also sent him to Vice City for his own needs. To see their legendary rivalry finally reach its violent conclusion is satisfying and iconic, and once again highlights Tommy Vercetti’s determination and strength.
The Ultimate Crime Kingpin
» I Don’t Think We’re Gonna Be Getting Any More Heat From Up North… Cause There Ain’t No ‘Up North’ Anymore. »
Nearing the end of the story, Tommy and Ken finally defeat Sonny’s forces and discuss how to expand their newly refurbished criminal empire of Vice City. All of his opposition have either perished or now respect the Vercetti Crime Family, accepting their power and control.
Tommy and Ken are the last men standing, and witnessing their partnership blossom is a wholesome moment. Tommy’s newfound power resulted from his intelligence, strength, and unrelenting determination, and rather than giving up the criminal life like many other protagonists, Tommy has become the embodiment of it – and he loves it.
Fortnite Chapter 3: Every Malfunctioning Vending Machine Location