A number of characters have made appearances in multiple games of the GTA 3D era.
The 3D era refers to the second generation of GTA games, which started with GTA 3 and ended with Vice City Stories. While the HD Universe is within a separate continuity, all games within the 3D era share the same characters.
A character from a previous game can sometimes cross over to a new title in the form of a minor cameo or a major role.
5 GTA characters who starred in multiple 3D era titles
#5 – Catalina
Catalina is the first major antagonist that old-school GTA fans are familiar with. She is the source of bitter conflict for Claude, who was left for dead after she betrayed him in a bank robbery. Her appearances in San Andreas and GTA 3 show different aspects of her criminal career.
In 1992, Catalina was performing petty robberies in the countryside with CJ. While she remains a psychotic force throughout the entire series, she is far more unhinged here.
Catalina provides black comedy, but she does so at the expense of poor CJ. Eventually, she leaves him for Claude (who makes a cameo here).
By 2001, Catalina controls a powerful drug cartel. The years haven’t changed her backstabbing tendencies, as she betrays not only Claude but also her right-hand man Miguel.
Catalina is not nearly as humorous as she was in San Andreas due to the completely divergent tones of these games.
#4 – Kent Paul
A self-proclaimed criminal mastermind, Kent Paul spills many secrets in Vice City. Thanks to his “little birds,” he seems to know what happens in every part of this tropical paradise. Unfortunately, almost every one of his appearances results in a physical manhandling by Tommy Vercetti.
Kent eventually leaves Vice City to go touring with an English band known as the Gurning Chimps. When he made it to Bone County in San Andreas, Kent found himself stranded in a desert with only one band member named Maccer. CJ has to save them from the impending doom of the desert.
Kent is considerably more composed in San Andreas than he was in Vice City. The years seemed to have calmed him down.
#3 – Dwaine and Jethro
Dwaine and Jethro are relatively minor characters in both Vice City and San Andreas. They barely get any speaking lines beyond their “stoner dude” tendencies. Nonetheless, they’re one of the nicer characters in a series of ruthless criminals.
Dwaine and Jethro run a boatyard in Vice City, which Tommy Vercetti buys from them at a low cost. They left Vice City a few years later to meet up with The Truth at a local San Fierro concert. They get along well due to their drug habits.
When CJ started up his own garage in San Fierro, Truth recommended the duo’s services as mechanics. From that point forward, they are mainly seen in cut-scenes throughout the storyline.
#2 – Ken Rosenberg
Ken Rosenberg can never catch a break anywhere he goes. After a botched drug deal in Vice City, he was practically pulling out his hair in fear of retaliation. Nonetheless, this neurotic personality is a great lawyer. He always gets Tommy out of jail whenever the GTA player gets busted.
Unfortunately, Ken’s actions in the 80s caught up to him in the 90s. Habitual drug abuse forces Tommy to send Ken to rehab in San Andreas. Although Ken is momentarily clean, Tommy cuts off all ties with his former lawyer.
When Ken starts to work for Salvatore Leone, he is under constant threat of death. CJ eventually had to bring him to safety, but not before robbing Salvatore blind in a daring casino heist. Ken (along with Kent Paul) will start working with Madd Dogg shortly afterward.
#1 – Claude
Despite his muteness, Claude is a recognizable figure in the GTA community. He was the playable character of the groundbreaking GTA 3. Given his lack of identity, it was easier for players to imagine themselves as this cold-blooded killer.
Claude is the first GTA protagonist to make a cameo in another GTA title. He meets up with CJ during the events in San Andreas, where he ultimately loses a street race. Had it not been for Ray Liotta’s financial disputes with Rockstar Games, Tommy Vercetti would’ve possibly also made an appearance here.
As it stands, Claude holds the legendary distinction of being the first GTA player character to appear in multiple games. Only Toni Cipriani and Victor Vance share several appearances in the 3D era titles.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.