While the 3D and HD Era universes live in separate continuities, there are still crossovers between certain GTA characters.
Once Rockstar made their transition from 2D to 3D games, there was no turning back. GTA 3 was a genre-defining experience for old-school players, which carried over to Vice City and San Andreas.
Once the Playstation 3 arrived, it was time for GTA 4 to make its mark on the gaming industry. Rockstar opted to separate the GTA series into different universes. GTA 4 was the beginning of the HD Era, which meant there was no connection with the events of GTA 3.
However, there are a few cases where 3D Universe characters find their footing in the HD Universe. While these are mostly relegated to radio hosts, there are a few exceptions where they make important mission appearances.
Five GTA Characters Present in Both the 3D and HD Era
#5 - Jack Howitzer
The once famous 80's action star, Jack Howitzer isn't alright in the head. He bleeds the patriotic colors of red, white, and blue. Unfortunately, Howitzer cannot separate fiction from reality, and still believes the Soviets remain in power. He accidentally kills a talk show host in San Andreas, which lands him behind bars.
Howitzer is released on parole by GTA 5, carrying the events of the 3D universe over to HD. Unable to cope with reality, Howitzer communicates with a Ho Chi sock puppet. Based on his former sidekick, Howitzer and Ho Chi host their new reality television show together.
#4 - Cris Formage
During the events of San Andreas, the Epsilon Program begins to grow in popularity among its cult believers. Cris Formage is a powerful leader who can be heard arguing with Lazlow on Entertaining America. However, Epsilon remains in the background at this time.
By the events of GTA 5, the Epsilon Program takes a bigger role in the storyline, with Formage making his first physical appearance. He forces Michael to endure ridiculous missions, such as running five miles in a desert. It's not entirely a waste of time, as Michael can eventually steal over a million dollars from the cult.
Interestingly, Cris Formage appears whenever a GTA Online player experiences death for the first time. If taken seriously, it may indicate that Formage is a god within the GTA universe, and that the Epsilon Program was true.
#3 - Willy from Lovefist
Unlike most 3D and HD crossovers, Willy is one of the very few to make an appearance in-person. Like the rest of his band members, the Lovefist bassist lives a hard life of rock and roll. In Vice City, he narrowly escapes with his life when a limo is set to explode by a crazed stalker.
Willy's bad luck also extends to GTA 5, where he is attacked by Trevor Phillips for his golden tooth. Players also have the option to kill Willy during the encounter. Either way, the music of Lovefist still lives on, even if he does not.
#2 - Fernando Martinez
Fernando Martinez is a product of the 1980's, where his lascivious personality was more acceptable. Nowadays, his outright sexist behavior is no longer acceptable by social norms. Fernando has to constantly deal with an ever-changing world, which he struggles with due to his outdated views.
Originally an immigrant, Fernando made his way to the United States. He is mostly known for his role as a DJ in Vice City, given his official artwork was released during that game. Fernando eventually crossed over to the HD era games, where he kept his backstory intact.
During GTA 5, Fernando hosts his own show. Despite numerous attempts otherwise, he constantly struggles to change his womanizer ways.
#1 - Lazlow Jones
Lazlow Jones is the residential butt monkey of the GTA series. Played by the real-life radio personality, Lazlow portrays his in-game character as a pathetically weak man prone to misfortune. With over 30 years of radio experience across the GTA series, Lazlow went from station to station looking for a job.
He worked his way up as the head DJ of V-Rock, before getting unceremoniously fired. Lazlow was desperate to make himself relevant, moving from Vice City to San Andreas, all the way back to Liberty City. Not a single one of his guests ever took him seriously enough.
By the events of the HD universe, Lazlow is now prone to violent outbursts and multiple arrests. However, GTA 5 may truly be his lowest point. After trying to take advantage of Tracy De Santa, her enraged father Michael teams up with Trevor to completely humiliate the disgraced DJ.
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Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.