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5 betrayals in GTA San Andreas that were least expected

Big Smoke and Ryder no longer represent green (Image via the YouTube channel of CARL JOHNSON)
Big Smoke and Ryder no longer represent green (Image via the YouTube channel of CARL JOHNSON)
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Danny Sahbegovic

Note: This article contains spoilers

Players should never turn their backs in GTA San Andreas; plenty of knife-wielding allies can just as easily turn into backstabbing enemies, and vice-versa.

Throughout the GTA series, players should expect a lack of loyalty from cut-throat criminals. Both Claude and Tommy Vercetti found out the hard way in their dealings with the mafia. San Andreas is no different in their approach to unexpected betrayals. It can happen anywhere at anytime.

In the first act of GTA San Andreas, the Johnson brothers worked tirelessly to rebuild Grove Street as a powerful family. However, they were hit with a major setback in the mission The Green Sabre, where their closest friends sold them out for a quick buck. Treachery is a recurring theme throughout the entire game.


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#5 - Catalina

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The romantic pairing of Catalina and CJ was never going to end well. After their breakup, Catalina ran into CJ during a countryside street race. Much to his confusion, she verbally ran him down over the failure of their relationship.

GTA 3 players knew that Catalina couldn't be trusted since the first cut-scene of the game. The prequel to San Andreas offers no reassurances either, especially with her ax-crazy tendencies and psychotic mood swings. What makes her eventual betrayal surprising is the sudden appearance of the GTA 3 protagonist Claude.

This is the first instance in mainline GTA titles where the main protagonists interact with each other (not counting Toni Cipriani in GTA 3, who wasn't made playable until after San Andreas). Claude isn't going to realize until years later Catalina will treat him with the same respect she does to CJ here.

#4 - OG Loc

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As a terrible rap artist, the lyrics of OG Loc are as dangerous as any drive-by shooting. Inexplicably, CJ lends a helping hand to the small-time gangster. OG Loc wants to boost his practically non-existent street cred, which is why he tasked CJ to ruin the rap career of Madd Dogg. CJ gets nothing out of this, however.

After the downfall of the Grove Street Families, OG Loc is completely ungrateful to CJ. Not only does he no longer respect his old gang, he also has Big Smoke as his personal manager. Once he arrives in Las Venturas, CJ realizes the error of his ways and saves Madd Dogg from a bungled suicide attempt.

Upon his return to Los Santos, CJ ran OG Loc out of town and put an end to his fifteen minutes of fame. A good number of GTA players were quite disappointed he got off lightly for his betrayal, considering what he did to Madd Dogg.

#3 - Mike Toreno

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First-time players may be surprised to learn one of the Loco Syndicate bosses was an undercover government agent. Mike Toreno is a man shrouded in complete mystery; he only lets players see what he wants them to see. Needless to say, his sudden shift from foe to friend may catch players off-guard.

It isn't so much a "betrayal" as it is an unexpected turn of events. Toreno goes from a dangerous enemy that needs to be dealt with to an indispenable ally with useful resources. He subverts conventional GTA wisdom with a betrayal of expectations.

#2 - Big Smoke

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Big Smoke was a high-ranking member of Grove Street until he realigned his priorities with corrupt law enforcement and rival gangs. Early in the game, he provided the biggest laughs for his memetic one-liners. However, he reveals his true colors in The Green Sabre. Big Smoke is as crooked as they come.

There are several early hints that foreshadow his betrayal. This includes buying property in Ballas territory, a lack of assistance during gang warfare, and his reckless driving putting CJ's life in danger. First-time players might not pick up on these clues, but those with an attentive eye certainly will.

Nonetheless, the betrayal of Big Smoke is one of the most memorable in GTA history. he goes from comic relief to secondary antagonist - all in the span of a single mission. Big Smoke is no longer played for laughs once he rules over the crack-addicted streets of Los Santos.

#1 - Ryder

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Ryder is another long-time GSF member who betrays the gang to preserve his personal interests. In a game full of easy-to-remember lines, Ryder is among the strongest contenders for funniest characters in the GTA series. His disloyalty to Grove Street is all the more shocking.

However, unlike Big Smoke, there is no warning given ahead of time. Ryder's sudden act of treachery doesn't match his in-game portrayal. Big Smoke actively hinders CJ's performance during missions like Just Business. By comparison, Ryder arms Grove Street to the teeth in Robbing Uncle Sam.

There has been a long-running conspiracy from GTA fans about whether or not Ryder was meant to be a traitor. These discussions include the premature leave of his voice actor MC Eiht, as well as how Ryder is rarely brought up after his betrayal. For such a major character it seems rather peculiar that CJ barely mentions him.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.


For comprehensive guides and walkthroughs, check out SK GTA Wiki

Edited by david.benjamin
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