Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was an interesting exploration of the seedy underbelly of gangs, crime, and drug trafficking. There were a lot of unique mechanics and unbelievable amounts of freedom in an open world.
Yet there was a lot cut from this game before it hit the store shelves. Digging through the game files reveals that the developers intended to include a lot of interesting and engaging content that would have made the game a lot more interesting, ignoring the hot coffee minigame of course.
Those who’ve played Grand Theft Auto 5 have likely taken a dip in the ocean only to come across the bloodthirsty sharks that lie in wait in the dark waters. It’s a fun easter egg meant more to discourage the player from wasting time swimming or trying to reach the edge of the game’s map than anything else.
It turns out the developers wanted to include these cold blooded monsters to the waters of San Andreas. It’s not clear why they were cut, but time and limited resources probably had a factor.
9 Personal Casino
In San Andreas the player can acquire properties and businesses, known in the game as assets, that generate passive revenue for the player leaving them free to pursue more interesting activities without being concerned about making an income.
It seems that the developers intended for the player to have their own personal casino. For whatever reason this was later cut from the game, but it would have been a great way to make some money considering the house always wins.
8 Rob Stores
Speaking of making money it seems another profitable activity in the game was cut before final release. Players would have had the option to rob stores like they did in Vice City.
It’s unclear why this feature was cut, perhaps it was due to the limitations of the Playstation 2 at the time or because of time constraints, but it seems a fitting mechanic for a story about a man delving into a life of crime. Instead, players had to resort to legitimate jobs, running missions for NPCs or brutal muggings.
In addition to the more traditional vehicles used to travel around the player would have been able to use a skateboard to roam the streets. It was also intended to be used as a weapon by the player, making for a helpful tool if the player didn’t have access to a set of wheels or was traveling a short distance.
Perhaps because the player was more likely to use a car the skateboard was cut. This game mechanic would be reused later in Rockstar’s game Bully so it could also have been they were forced to cut it out of time constraints.
6 Get Wasted
Originally the developers included the ability for the player to drink alcohol and use drugs in the game. Getting wasted or drunk would have resulted in the controls operating funny and the game’s camera becoming a little wonky as the character stumbled around.
It’s not clear why this feature was cut from the end product, but it likely had to do with trying to avoid any unnecessary controversy (on top of the usual) upon release. It could also be that the developers determined it was a nonessential mechanic and it ended up on the chopping block for budgetary reasons.
5 Grenade Launcher
A weapon that fans have been wanting to see in a Grand Theft Auto game was unfortunately cut yet again when San Andreas released. The grenade launcher was intended to be a mid range explosive weapon that could deal incredible amounts of damage.
This weapon wouldn’t appear until Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and The Damned, nearly five years after San Andreas. Since then it has proved to be a popular weapon among the fan base. Many of the more popular mods for San Andreas include a grenade launcher in the game.
4 Alcatraz Island
As San Andreas is meant to be a representation of California and San Fierro is based on San Francisco the developers devoted quite a bit of time to doing fairly accurate recreations of the iconic area. Some players discovered in the game files that the developers had been working on a small unnamed island that would have appeared off the coast of San Fierro.
It’s believed this was meant to be a recreation of Alcatraz Island and the iconic prison would have likely played an important role in the game’s story, but was never completed.
The pharmacies seen around San Andreas were meant to serve as stores for players to recover health and buy adrenaline. Adrenaline was supposed to serve as a boost of some kind likely giving players enhanced movement speed and added damage in hand to hand combat.
The Pharmacy was likely cut as there are a variety of healing methods in the game and adrenaline would have given the player too much of an edge in combat and made the game too easy. Although as with any cut content in video games it could have been a matter of no time no money.
2 Gun Cane
This interesting weapon would have given players a sophisticated means of taking out enemies on the streets of San Andreas. When walking around the gun cane would have functioned like an ordinary walking cane. But the player could switch it to the gun mode and started riddling enemies with bullets.
It’s not clear why this was cut as it would have been a useful weapon to carry while still avoiding suspicion from police or to be used in ambush situations. Not to mention any player who fancied themselves a pimp in this game would have enjoyed having a gun cane to tote around.
1 Drug Dealing
Another interesting method of making money that was cut from the final release was a mechanic related to drug dealing. It wasn’t developed very far but some speculate that it could have served as a sort of investment where the player buys the drugs cheap and sells them later at a profit.
Given how integrated this could have been with the game’s story it’s a surprise that it was cut. Again, it may have been dropped for fear of additional controversy or due to restrictions on the team’s budget. In either case, it would have been a useful feature for players pursuing the goal of building a criminal empire.