Posted on October 22, 2014
Claude Speed: Worst Name in Gaming History?
I’ve mentioned it a time or two already, but editing video game cutscenes together has been a hobby of mine for a long time now. Not only does it give me an opportunity to unwind after a long week at work (I don’t know why it does, it just does), but it also gives me a chance to go through certain games as thoroughly as I possibly could.
The completionist in me would never allow myself to make a video knowing there was some kind of hidden cutscene I missed along the way!
With that in mind, I turned to one of my favourite games of all time – Grand Theft Auto III.
I’ve attempted to capture all the cutscenes from this game once already, but it didn’t pan out. The reason?
A bloody unfortunate glitch.
GTA3 takes place over three islands and has you associating with plenty of shady characters throughout the course of the story. On the island of Shoreside Vale, a gang war is brewing between the Red Jacks and Purple Nines. D-Ice, leader of the Red Jacks, contacts Claude via payphone and gets him to run all sorts of fun little errands to eliminate every member of the Purple Nines.
Here’s where the glitch comes in; once you complete the D-Ice missions on the PlayStation 2 or Xbox versions of the game, the Purple Nines are permanently wiped off the face of Liberty City. If you start a new game, complete all the missions through to Shoreside Vale and finally attempt D-Ice’s first mission (which has you doing drive-by shootings on dudes in purple), you will notice that there are only dudes in red that show up on the streets – the Red Jacks.
You can drive around all you want, but the gang members you’re looking to eliminate won’t show up. Even if you delete your saved game file, there’s enough data on your PS2 Memory Card\Xbox Hard Drive to “remember” that time you completely wiped the other gang off the map.
Thankfully, this glitch is a relatively minor inconvenience. The game’s main story missions will be intact, and you’ll still be able to finish the game’s main story.
Still, since I’m trying to achieve 100% completion, this glitch is tearing at the OCD part of my brain. I’d love to be able to re-play those missions, and not just because they’re among the best in the entire game.
Because I couldn’t get all the cutscenes I wanted, that last playthrough I did went unfinished. I deleted everything I had recorded and put the game aside for another day.
That’s when I got to tinkering… ugh, why do I always have to tinker?
Y’see, here’s something the true gamer in me has a rough time admitting now. These days, I’m a bona-fide collector of NES, Super NES, Genesis and Game Boy games. About 10 years ago, even though I was deep into all kinds of retro gaming, I was not big into spending money to pad my game collection.
Oddly enough, I had more money to spend on that sort of thing then than I do now, living at home rent-free and all.
In any case, the idea of doing a soft-mod to my original Xbox to load a bunch of roms and emulators on it wasn’t a big deal. I loaded a disc with hundreds of NES, Super NES and Game Boy roms and got my console loaded with 8-and-16-bit goodness.
It’s truly an amazing feeling to have all these games at my fingertips, ready to play at any moment. It changed my Xbox’s dashboard completely, and it allowed me to access components of my console that I’d never even seen before. It’s basically a PC that also happens to play Xbox games!
With the awesomeness, however, comes a slight pang of guilt. Guilt from playing roms instead of the real deal. Guilt that my Xbox is a mere shell of its old, original self. Guilt about the fact that even though it’s fun to play these old games, I can’t do it with the controllers they were meant to be played with.
And then… I encountered the Purple Nines glitch.
The collector in me isn’t exactly proud of having done the mod all those years ago, and I fully intend to either un-mod my current Xbox or buy another used console for cheap. However, being able to fiddle around with the memory on the system is a benefit when dealing with a glitch like the one I’m dealing with.
It took some digging, but I managed to find where the save files were located so I could delete them. Doing so came at a cost, though.
The save files that had been on my Xbox for more than a decade were all labeled as jumbled letters and numbers. I wanted to go in there and specifically delete the GTA3 save file on my hard drive and nothing else, but there was nothing to differentiate the GTA3 file from the ones for Halo 2, NASCAR Thunder 2004, Knights of the Old Republic, and other games I’ve played through the years.
Because I wanted to overcome the Purple Nines glitch in my own way, I went ahead and deleted them all.
Career Mode progress in all my NASCAR games? Gone.
Unlocked levels and ships in various Star Wars games? Buh-bye.
Progress in “Legendary” mode in both Halo and Halo 2? See ya!
That last one was very much a work in progress having not touched either game in about 9 years, but still… it was hard for me to just delete everything and start from scratch.
So with all that in mind, I’m not quite done the Portland missions in Grand Theft Auto III. I still have a while to go before finding out if deleting everything off my Xbox actually fixed the dreaded Purple Nines glitch, and the suspense is killing me.
If it ended up not fixing the glitch, my cutscene movie will just have to go on without that whole batch of clips, and my mass file-deletion will be all for naught.
I’ll be sure to post an update to this story once I get there…