Although they aren't seen in the main story of GTA San Andreas, these characters left quite an impact nonetheless.
Several of these unseen characters either appear in a flashback or are mentioned through casual dialog. Their importance to the overall story varies, but they made a lasting impression in GTA San Andreas.
Notably, the vast majority of them are already deceased by the events of the game.
GTA San Andreas shines a light on several interesting characters. However, many of them are influenced (directly or indirectly) by characters who don't get to share the spotlight with them. Whether it's a member of the Johnson family or a minor antagonist, they still leave an impression.
Five important unseen characters from GTA San Andreas
#5 - Beverly Johnson
When Ballas attacked Grove Street Families (GSF) in 1992, Beverly Johnson was the unfortunate casualty of a drive-by. Her death is what brings CJ back into the fold, as he takes a flight from Liberty City to Los Santos.
There are several mysteries about Bevery Johnson, such as her involvement with GSF and whether her ghost wanders the area. What is clear is that her family was devastated at the loss of their mother. It leads to several tense moments between CJ and Sweet at the beginning of GTA San Andreas.
A portrait of her can be found inside the Johnson residence. GTA players will notice she shares her in-game model with a random pedestrian. Despite her lack of screentime, her death is what kickstarts the entire plot into action.
#4 - Berkley
Berkley is an unseen rival of Zero, who runs a rival hobby shop. These two electronic-based experts are bitter enemies to the very end. Ever since Zero won first place in a science fair, Berkley made it his mission to take him down. For most GTA players, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.
Unlike most antagonists in the game, Berkley is never seen in person. He prefers to let his henchmen do his dirty work. Berkley harkens back to the times when GTA 3 and Vice City had unseen enemies, such as Uptown Yardies ruler King Courtney.
GTA players have to help Zero chase his long-time rival out of San Fierro. Through a series of difficult missions, the players will put their RC skills to the test. Not one to admit defeat, he would later interfere with a casino heist in progress late in the storyline.
However, GTA players will survive this attempt.
#3 - Brian Johnson
Not much is known about the youngest Johnson brother in GTA San Andreas. What is known is that Brian's death resulted in CJ moving to Liberty City. The circumstances of his demise remain unknown, but apparently CJ didn't do enough to save him. Sweet brings this up constantly.
Brian had a close relationship with CJ during their childhood. It's rather unfortunate what ended up happening to him. Whether Brian was involved in gang activity (like his brothers) remains a mystery.
It's possible Brian had a physical resemblance to CJ. In one mission, small-time gun dealer Emmet originally mistook the latter for the former.
#2 - Ralph Pendelbury
The former C.R.A.S.H. member was only briefly seen in the introductory video for GTA San Andreas. Otherwise, he is only mentioned by name in the base game proper. Ralph Pendelbury was made an example of by Frank Tenpenny, who saw him as a minor obstacle to overcome.
Ultimately, CJ is framed for Pendelbury's murder (despite having just landed at the airport from Liberty City). Tenpenny blackmails CJ into getting his hands dirty for C.R.A.S.H. This lasts for the entire first act of GTA San Andreas, before Tenppeny uses other methods to get work from CJ.
Pendelbury set off a chain reaction that would eventually lead to the deaths of all the C.R.A.S.H. members involved in his murder.
#1 - Fallen GSF members
When CJ was in Liberty City, these were the troops that held down the line while he was away. Having been absent for the past five years, CJ returns to attend the mother's funeral. His brother Sweet isn't too pleased to see him again.
He called CJ out for his lack of assistance in their time of need.
Grove Street had to bury plenty of bodies in Vinewood Cemetery. Sweet brings up how bad their situation is as he takes a good look at nearby tombstones. Several key members of the GSF have fallen. This includes Tony, Big Devil, and Little Devil, all of them presumably loyal members of the gang.
They did all they could to defend their turf. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. By this point in GTA San Andreas, the Ballas have overrun the older territories.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.