13 things we already know about GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

Contributors: Charlie Barratt, Mikel Reparaz

Damn, Rockstar is full of surprises. Who could have guessed that the developer’s franchise - built on gritty crime, bloody violence, hardened characters and grossly exaggerated stereotypes - would debut an entry with words like “ballad” and “gay” right in the title? When the first downloadable content starred leather-clad biker gangs listening to classic rock, who could foresee a second expansion’s logo with rainbow lettering and disco ball sparkles?

Actually… everyone. If you were paying close enough attention during the events of GTA IV and The Lost and Damned, as a matter of fact, you could predict a huge portion of The Ballad of Gay Tony, including everything from heroes and villains to locations and specific missions.

Skeptical? Here are 13 things we already know.

The protagonist is not Gay Tony.

Read enough online news stories in GTA IV and the name Tony Prince should be familiar. A nightclub owner and Liberty City celebrity, he is often quoted for his dissatisfaction with the current quality of after hours entertainment in the metropolis. Not enough drugs and orgies in post-9/11 America, apparently. The reports also make his affiliation with the Ancelottis – the weakest of the local Italian Mafia’s five leading families – abundantly clear.

You, however, will play as Luis Fernando Lopez, a Dominican gangster and Gay Tony’s hired bodyguard, bouncer and full-time assistant.

Despite the provocative title, your character will be heterosexual.

Rockstar loves to court controversy, and is turning out to be surprisingly progressive with their games’ recent subject matter. Apparently, though, even the developer has some inhibitions. While you will no doubt be surrounded by homosexual characters in The Ballad of Gay Tony – some hopefully less stereotypical and predictably portrayed than others – the lead man is straight.

How can we be sure? Because the most obviously gay character in the original Grand Theft Auto IV, Bernie Crane, said so. In the first expansion, you’re asked to wiretap the vehicle of a local politician, Bryce Dawkins… who, contradictory to his “family values” platform, is having an affair with Bernie. Once you’ve laid the trap, you get to call a secret government number and listen to the taped conversations. One of them goes like this:

Niko Bellic and Johnny Klebitz will definitely make appearances.

This is 100% guaranteed. In fact, you’ve already seen the three men together, in both the original GTA IV storyline and in the second expansion. Niko, Johnny and Luis have played crucial, though different, parts in at least four previous missions. They’ve even appeared in many of the same cutscenes.

Because of this frequent overlap, we can easily predict several of Luis’s missions in The Ballad of Gay Tony. Let’s begin…

Mission Prediction #1: Bank Robbery Escape

Everybody who’s played through GTA IV remembers Three Leaf Clover, the balls-hard bank-robbery mission undertaken by Niko and the McReary brothers. What you might not remember, however, is that Luis is one of the hostages during that robbery. Seriously, you can even kill him while he’s cowering on the floor.

The question is, what was Luis doing in the bank when the McRearys hit? Was he running an errand, or did someone send him there? Was he planning to rob the place with a note before the hardcore criminals rolled in, or did he have advance knowledge of their heist? It’s possible that, in all the confusion following the robbery, Luis’ plan was to grab something important and book it out without anyone noticing.

Whatever his reasons, Luis’ appearance in the Bank of Liberty is more than just coincidence. Whether it’s as an innocent bystander or a behind-the-scenes schemer, you can bet that trying to escape from the storm of cops and gunfire that descends on the bank will be part of Luis’ story.

Mission Prediction #2: Diamond Deal

When we learned the identity of GTA IV’s third protagonist, it became increasingly clear that the real story of the game wasn’t about Niko’s immigration and disillusionment, or about Johnny Klebitz and his gang of aging thugs. No, the real story is about a little sack of diamonds and the people who are willing to kill and be killed to get their hands on them.

We’ve already seen how the diamonds make their way from the Platypus (the cargo liner Niko rides in on) to Liberty City; Gay Tony heads down to the docks to buy them from the men who smuggled them in. As Luis, it’ll be your task to escort him down to the docks, and then clean up the mess when the deal is ruined by Johnny Klebitz and his bikers (who in turn were sent by scummy Mafioso Ray Boccino). While Johnny chases down the limo carrying the diamonds, it’ll be up to you, as Luis, to kill every last Lost biker that stays behind to try and murder you.

Mission Prediction #3: Museum Ambush

Ever wonder who the guy is that suddenly ambushes Niko, Johnny and Isaac Roth during the Museum Piece/Collector’s Item mission, killing Mori Green and completely ruining the diamond deal? We know now that it’s Luis, who’s most likely there to get the diamonds back for Gay Tony.

As Luis, you’ll likely have to sneak up to the window from which he ambushes the deal, after which you’ll get to shoot the place up and make off with the diamonds while Niko and Johnny blast their way through your men. While the carnage erupts downstairs, you’ll need to make your escape through the roof and take down any of Isaac’s men who get in your way before hauling ass to safety.

Mission Prediction #4: Ransom Return

Remember Gracie Ancelotti, the mobster’s daughter you kidnapped as Niko? When it came time to exchange her for the game’s now-iconic diamonds, it wasn’t her father who showed up to make the handover – it was her friend Gay Tony, accompanied by level-headed Luis. When Tony and Packie start arguing, it’s Niko who shuts them up, and Luis who suggests a fair way to trade the diamonds for the girl.

Just then, however, Russian crime boss Rodislav Bulgarin and his thugs show up to snatch both Gracie and the diamonds. In the ensuing chaos, the diamonds are thrown into a passing truck, but it’s unclear what happens to Gracie, Bulgarin, Luis and Gay Tony. However, it’s pretty likely that Luis kills Bulgarin in the ensuing violence, if only for calling him Gay Tony’s “Dominican bitch.”


  • TheOther - July 1, 2009 9:14 p.m.

    By the way, about the club kid's death, it's actually Johnny who kills him, in the mission where you steal the diamonds from Tony Prince. The club kid is the one carrying the diamonds in the limo, and he's the one you kill for the diamonds.
  • malik13 - July 1, 2009 12:56 p.m.

    I would like to see some things in this episode that the original and The Lost And Damned lacked such as... more options like in Saints Row 2... a mod shop for cars... more weapons (chainsaws, golf clubs, you know)... an offline multiplayer mode (like in San Andreas)... more weapons that can be used for drive bye's (RPG's, Shotgun's, basically anything)... being able to recruit your gang (GTA SA)... and some more. Anyway nice article guys, really helpful.
  • lovinmyps3 - June 2, 2009 4:22 a.m.

    @ Solstice and XxDESTROYERxX maybe you guys should stop being such homophobes and if your friends wouldnt hang out with you because you're playing a game with the word "gay" in it than you should get new friends.
  • Vaibhav - May 31, 2009 6:01 p.m.

    I wanted to know if The Lost and The Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony are available on disks...could you answer Gamesradar???PLEASE!!!Are they only available for download on the Xbox 360???
  • Solstice - May 30, 2009 5:19 a.m.

    @ XxDESTROYERxX. I argee completely. I don't know what my friends'll think about me if they saw me with this game. Hell, I'd feel very uncomfortable buying the thing. I don't know what my parents would say if I wanted this game. I don't want them thinking something's wrong with me or something. For example: My parents and I in WalMart. Parents: ''What do you want for your birthday?'' Me: ''A videogame.'' Parents: ''What kind?'' Me: ''Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.'' Parents: ''Are you sure?'' Me: ''Yeah.'' Parents: (Worried look on their face.) Seriously, they should've had another name for that.
  • Demonflare - May 29, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    They better stop making more GTA's I sware. Their gonna get stupid, and people will just give em 10/10
  • gaming_goon - May 29, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    I love the gta 4 story. It is utterly fantastic. I think gta 4 has the best story ever.
  • hardcorekiller - May 29, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    LOL. another GtA. Will there be more GTAs After this?
  • Drama - May 29, 2009 5:36 a.m.

    @VoodooPanda: We all know it was the jews, silly.
  • FrozenImplosion - May 28, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    HAHAHA "random lady"
  • lovinmyps3 - May 28, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    is there any word yet on whether rockstar wants to release these on ps3? cause GTA IV is one of my all time favorite games and i dont want to buy an xbox simply to play lost and damned and this instalment.
  • elchetos - May 28, 2009 4:37 p.m.

    Well, if rockstar likes to create controversy, this is definitely one way to do it. The hard core gaming community has never been known for tolerance towards homosexuals, on the contrary, they bash them and use the words "gay" and "fag" as insults, to name some of them. I wonder how well this will sell, and how the gaymer community will react to it. I'm sure there will be some recognition from a group or two, only time will tell. As a gaymer, I can only shrug until the real deal comes out, and I really hope this'll be released for ps3 (already have been hearing rumours about the lost and the damned being released in the near future for ps3). Keep up the good work GR!
  • smallberry - May 28, 2009 5:19 a.m.

    Wow you guys did some awesome research on this. Maybe R* will announce Lost and Damned for PS3 this E3. Then some pigs shall fly.
  • Elbo444 - May 28, 2009 5:08 a.m.

    why are there french subtitles in that video of the diamond deal? hopefully they'll fix some of the bugs in multiplayer with this dlc, getting tired of the 3 second delay between my screen and theirs, hopefully they add some better gametypes too I WANT A ZOMBIES GAMETYPE GOD DAMNIT
  • PinkLenny - May 28, 2009 4:49 a.m.

    i dont really care about the story im only int interested in what new cars there are going to be
  • game-thugsta - May 28, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    woahhh thats some crazyy stuff man
  • HRhuffnstuff - May 28, 2009 2:20 a.m.

    I was a bit sceptical when first reading this. But in all actuality, a lot of this makes sense. You guys bringthings up I would have never thought to look at. I'm already a bit excited.
  • VoodooPanda - May 28, 2009 2:20 a.m.

    Wow looks like you guys really know how to connect the dots. Ever consider trying to find out who really did 9/11? Bonus points if you can link Rockstar to it.
  • Morning Ninja - May 28, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    Isn't the game going to be around $40? I heard them say it'll be a seperate game, Like Halo 3 ODST, which you don't need a disk because the gmae is seperate.
  • Cyberninja - May 28, 2009 1:33 a.m.

    this is really well writen but do you journalists every get any sleep? im only writing first because i want to learn when dontsayimfirst became able to take away amendent rights and kick me off gamesrader

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