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When it comes to weird myths and hidden secrets, I don't think any other video game franchise comes close to Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar's open-world crime series has always combined its massive worlds with strange Easter eggs and other unusual phenomenon for players to discover. With so much truly odd crap to be uncovered across Los Santos, Vice City, and Liberty City, is it really any surprise that several completely fabricated urban legends started to spring up around the games?
Since it's Halloween, I figured we'd take a spooky look at some of GTA's strangest and most well-known phenomena. As you'd expect, some of these myths are grounded in reality, others have some truth to them, and one or two are nothing more than complete fabrications that somehow became an indelible part of the series' lore.
Where do we even begin with Mount Chiliad? Possibly the largest, strangest, and most thoroughly involved myth in GTA history, this GTA V Easter egg has players attempting to uncover its secrets to this day.
The whole thing is so incredibly convoluted that it has its own (incredibly lengthy) Wikipedia entry, but I'll do my absolute best to sum it up. GTA V's Mount Chiliad boasts a mural at its summit. On this mural is a picture of the mountain, upon which a number of unusual symbols have been carved, with an enigmatic eye hovering above the scene.
Players obsessed over the meaning of these carvings for years, with many believing that treating it as some kind of map would unlock an ultimate reward - widely believed to be a jetpack. The community still regularly tears itself in two believing that a jetpack has simply yet to be found, but to the best of our collective knowledge, no such item has turned up.
What we do know to be true is it's possible to find a UFO hovering above the mountain once you've beaten the game, though only under certain conditions. It's widely believed that this UFO is a hologram, however, and that Mount Chiliad has more secrets yet to be uncovered. I'll let you know if anything turns up.
This was the legend when I was growing up. As a kid, it was an incredibly popular myth that Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could be found roaming the wilds of GTA: San Andreas at night. What's more, if he caught sight of you, he'd give chase until you were dead - nothing could put him down.
Unfortunately, this exciting myth turned out to be completely false in the end. In fact, I attempted to reach out to a few Rockstar employees while writing this feature - while none of them were able to talk to me about their work on the game, one or two told me they had no idea this particular legend was a thing. I guess Leatherface was, sadly, a combination of overexcited schoolkids insisting that they'd seen him, and a bunch of fake videos and images posted on the internet at a time when most of us were either not savvy enough or old enough to question what we'd seen.
Of course it didn't help that someone at Rockstar included several hints in San Andreas, including a rusty wheelchair and what seemed to be a clear-cut teaser on an old website for the game.
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The Heart Of Liberty City is quite possibly the grossest of GTA myths. This macabre Easter egg is a very real secret that can be located by heading to the Statue Of Happiness, Liberty City's very own take on the Statue Of Liberty. After heading through a door that teases "no hidden content", players can find a giant beating heart held up by chains and bits of scaffolding that all connect to the statue's exterior.
Shooting it or attempting to damage it in any way will achieve nothing. All you can really do with it, in fact, is watch it... beating. What's even more disturbing is that players have a chance to respawn next to it if they pass out after drinking. Shudder.
Another strange and unproven myth in GTA: San Andreas, Piggsy is a one of the more frightening antagonists from Rockstar's Manhunt, and one that many believed could be found roaming near Mount Chiliad.
Like Leatherface, Piggsy was perpetuated by online hoaxes and the kids who lied about having seen him wandering around in-game. This particular myth, however seems to have really kicked into gear years after San Andreas released, when YouTubers DarthDementous shared a 2008 video about a mysterious creature lurking in Shady Creeks.
The video showed a strange pig-like figure hiding in the shadows, which in turn sent in the internet into a frenzy as everyone started to accept that this unknown creature was in fact Manhunt's Piggsy. While his role in the game has never been actively disproven, we've never seen any hard evidence eitehr.
Clearly by the time GTA V rolled around Rockstar was a lot more willing to embrace the strange and unexplained, because many of the myths hiding in the game you'd assume to be fake actually turned out to be true. One such proven myth in the most recent entry is the ghost of Jolene Cranley-Evans, a horrifying figure that can be found near the edge of Mount Gordo in the early hours, hovering over a bloodstained rock.
While this ghastly apparition can't be interacted with in any way, digging around in the game a little deeper reveals her true identity. The wife of TV stunt double Jock Cranley, Jolene was shoved off a cliff by her husband and left for dead. While Jock went on to become a successful stunt double, his late wife was doomed to hover over the same patch of Los Santos between 23:00 and 00:00. That's no life... which I guess is kind of the point here.
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games
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