One of the most significant aspects of any Grand Theft Auto title, is the relationship between you'll form with the game's parade of believably grotesque personalities. Ignoring the gracious helping of guns, cars and call girls for the minute, this tends to be the factor that sets the GTA series from the likes of True Crime and Driver series. While these games are good in their own right, they don't quite achieve the immersion and down right playability of Rockstar North's flagship franchise.
With the upcoming launch of GTA: Liberty City Stories, Rockstar's given us the lowdown on the brand new characters you and protagonist Toni Cipriani will meet on your travels around Liberty City. Go introduce yourself in preparation for the game's PSP debut this October.
A stocky girthsome man, Giovanni Casa runs one of Liberty City's favourite Italian delis in the St. Marks district and has caught the eye of Toni's mother, Ma Cipriani, with his special spicy Sicilian sausage. Since his return to Liberty City, Toni's mother has been none too pleased that Toni has not so much even called her while he was gone, going so far as to claim that Toni is not half the man that Giovanni Casa is.
Giovanni is a tough talker but when it comes time to back it up he reverts to his true cowardly self and calling Toni less of a man than Casa has especially raised Toni's ire since Giovanni is rumoured throughout the neighbourhood to have some childish fetishes. Toni is determined to expose Casa for what he really is. Ultimately, Casa is a mommy's boy, and he doesn't seem to care whose mommy.
Well dressed and well groomed at all times, Kazuki Kasen is the older brother of Kenji Kasen and currently head of the Yakuza in Liberty City. A very ambitious and driven man, Kazuki feels a heavy burden to do well for his family in America and has recently begun forcing his way into many mafia controlled areas. This has brought him quite a bit of attention from the various families around town. Namely the Leones, Forellis and Sindacco.
Kazuki is married to the noble and beautiful Toshiko Kasen, though only for political reasons. Kazuki seems to prefer the company of his Yakuza men to spending time with Toshiko. Or any woman for that matter.
Jane Hopper is Liberty City's corrupt union boss who will often 'contract' her unions out to the highest bidder. Extreme negotiations are her forte - If you need a strike, she can make it happen. If you want a strike settled, she can take care of it. Greasing her palms is the surest way to do business in Liberty City. Her hardball approach of doing business makes Jane more of a man in many people's eyes than even the toughest wise guys or city officials. Though, rumour has it that Jane may actually be a man herself. Or used to be.
Recently Jane called a city-wide strike amongst public transport and dock workers over speculation that the new Porter Tunnel, being built from Shoreside to Staunton Island, will eventually lead to a city-wide road tunnel that will effectively put an end to hundreds of ferry workers jobs. Not that the future of her workers are really any of her interest. She is really looking to see how much money she can bankroll from the otherwise unpleasant situation, effectively holding Liberty City for ransom before she'll allow her people to go back to work.
Jane may have bitten off more than she can chew with this situation however as Salvatore Leone and other mob bosses whose business rely heavily on the work of unions have been greatly affected by Hopper's strike. They are looking to end it quickly one way or another.
If there ever was a profile for a dirty cop in Liberty City, Detective Leon McAffrey, fits the bill to a tee. Not taking his actual job of being an officer of the law too seriously, McAffrey has found that helping out the criminal and underhanded political elements in Liberty City pays better than John Q. Government ever could.
Buying his way to the rank of detective he has found that money does all the talking and has little interest in climbing the ranks or garnering favour within the department. Lately a monkey wrench has been thrown into his usual means of doing business. He's been given a straight as an arrow partner: the guy either has to learn to work the streets properly (by taking bribes and selling people out) or he will soon discover Leon is not the nice guy he pretends to be. Will his new partner rat Leon out, or rat himself out?
Head of the Sindacco family interests in Liberty City, Paulie Sindacco is rarely seen. Because of this he has become known as 'The Invisible Don', and spends a great deal of time travelling to and from Las Venturas where many of the main Sindacco holdings are located. He entrusts Sindacco affairs in the city to his capos, who run operations for him exactly as he wants them run... or else! Those that don't fall in line with Paulie's views or that don't know their role and overstep their boundaries are given one way tickets to the bottom of the river. With Paulie being out of Liberty City so much, he finds that this "do or die" approach keeps his men in good order.
The Liberty City Sindaccos operate out of the seedy Red Light district and are perhaps the most powerful of the three crime families. In the early 90s the Sindacco family, who acquired a massive fortune through the casinos of Las Venturas, have begun sending money back home to expand the family business in Liberty City and compete with the Leone family for Italian mob dominance. The Sindacco's have their eyes on the lucrative drug and casino businesses of Liberty City, even starting their own casino/bordello called the Doll's House on the outskirts of Hepburn Heights. They continue to funnel money from Las Venturas to support the takeover of Leone turf and business in Liberty City.
When Toni left Liberty City, Vincenzo "Lucky" Cilli was still getting drinks for the made guys in Leone bars and poker rooms. His good looks, education and smooth demeanour quickly caught the eye of Don Salvatore though, and he has risen through the ranks quickly in the last couple years. Now on the fast track to being Consigliere, in Toni's absence he has amassed a significant amount of power and influence in the family. With Toni back, Sal is putting Vinnie in charge of keeping him busy.
An inveterate ladies man, at heart Vinnie seems only interested in himself. Despite this his unusual lucky streak has made him a favourite of the Don's. Sal's decision to pair him up with Toni will surely lead to some serious fireworks.
Joseph Daniel O'Toole is both an interminable pervert and career criminal. He currently finds himself in the employ of the Sindaccos. He manages their girly club, "Paulie's Review Bar" in the red light district of the city. A position in which he's very happy indeed, marrying as it does, both sides of his nature. JD has been working his way, very slowly, up the power ladder within the Sindacco family for several years. But the head of the family's business interests here in Liberty City, has held Joseph back for a long time.
He's overweight, sweaty and nervous. Most people think his anxious disposition is due to the amount of time he spends around all that bare flesh at the club... and they'd be correct. He spends his time imagining, lusting after, and craving every perverted scenario conceivable, but he's never actually carried one out for himself. In truth, he's never even touched one of his girls! JD has his fingers and his toes in a lot of pies, and eventually somebody is going to notice.