This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. Please help rewrite it to explain the fiction more clearly and provide non-fictional perspective. (April 2013)
Grand Theft Auto character
, Tommy Vercetti, as seen in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Tommy is the first playable protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series that has a proper voice actor, with full dialogue.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Thomas "Tommy" Vercetti is the main protagonist and playable character in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, a game in the Grand Theft Auto series. He is voiced by Ray Liotta.
After being released from prison, Tommy accepts to take part in a deal for an old friend, in which he was ambushed. In an attempt to find the man who set up the ambush, Tommy rises through the ranks of the Vice City crime underworld. After murdering the man who set up the ambush, he becomes extremely powerful in the criminal world, and eventually becomes the kingpin of Vice City.
1 Character design,
3.1 Early life,
3.2 Release from prison,
3.3 Business adventures,
5 See also,
7 External links,
Tommy, an Italian-American, is portrayed with a swarthy, tall, handsome appearance, combed dark brown, almost black hair, approximately 6' 3.5" in height and a five o'clock shadow. He first appears wearing a light blue-green Hawaiian shirt with dark blue palm trees printed on it, a Gold necklace around his neck, a gold watch around his left wrist, and a pair of blue jeans and white sneakers. This outfit becomes known as Tommy's "street" clothes. As the game progresses, Tommy is offered more wardrobe options: he obtains a blue-purple pastel suit with the sleeves rolled up over a black dress shirt and black loafers, as well as the option of a dark pinstripe suit labeled as "Mr. Vercetti" (which bears similarities to Tony Montana's uniform). A light green costume is available to perform a bank robbery, complete with a hockey mask, and is even able to wear the uniform for an allied gang, among many others.
Tommy Vercetti, in several ways, exhibits characteristics of fictional drug lord Tony Montana from the 1983 film Scarface. This coincides with the heavy themes and appearance of the movie that has been implemented into Vice City. Among these characteristics, his exile from his old home (Liberty City), his rise to power (acquiring property and wealth in the city, and a mansion which also sports an interior similar to that of Montana's mansion). Tommy is also a hired assassin, has killed his own collaborators (Lance Vance), taken over his temporary boss's business (Ricardo Diaz) and rebelled against his former leader (Sonny Forelli), as Tony Montana had. The only notable difference is that the final gunfight in Montana's mansion sees Montana eventually killed, whereas the final gunfight in Tommy's mansion sees Tommy managing to single-handedly take down his captors and survive.
Tommy Vercetti is depicted as both intelligent and temperamental; he is easily angered and quick to resort to violence. He has no hesitation about killing, though many of his victims are in turn trying to kill Tommy as well, or have done something that requires to be killed. Tommy does also show a softer side as seen with his relations with Mercedes Cortez and Earnest Kelly, whom he views as a father figure due to his childhood memories of working with his father at a printworks.
Tommy Vercetti was born in 1951 to an Italian-American family. He was raised in Liberty City, where his father owned a printing shop. When he was a teenager, he befriended Sonny Forelli, and he started working for his associates, earning his trust and position in the Forelli family.
In Liberty City in 1971, he was sent by Sonny to kill a key mobster in the Harwood District, who was trying to destroy Forelli's early rackets. When he arrived, eleven men ambushed him. Tommy was forced to kill all of them, and he ended up in prison for multiple charges for murder. He was placed on death row, but due to the Forelli's influence, he only served fifteen years. He also earned the title "The Harwood Butcher".
Release from prison:
Fresh out of prison in 1986, Tommy is keen to start work again for the Forelli Family, and is immediately dispatched by Sonny Forelli to Vice City to participate in a drug deal, due to Sonny's fear that Tommy's presence in Liberty City will cause him problems in his business as he is still too widely known there. Sonny also tells him to expand business in the south and to stay there for a while finding opportunities for a good business.
Tommy arrives at the deal as a supervisor between the Forelli and Vance Crime Family. Just then, a group of masked assailants open fire on them, killing Victor Vance, their leader, and Forelli's men, resulting in Tommy losing both the money and the drugs, from which he narrowly escapes with Rosenberg. With the promise to Sonny to retrieve both, he then sets out to find and kill the party responsible. Tommy, while associated with Lance Vance, Victor's brother, he begins to work for Vice City's most powerful drug baron Ricardo Diaz (who is later revealed to be responsible for the ambushed deal).
After Tommy and Lance lead an assault on Diaz's estate and kill him, Tommy begins to disobey Sonny's orders and enjoys the empire he claimed from Diaz, without paying any tribute to the Forelli family, enraging Sonny, who constantly demands a larger cut of the profits from Tommy, and Lance, who wants more respect from Tommy and also more control in the family. He and the Forelli Family's conflict reach boiling point when Tommy kills Forelli henchmen sent to seize his business revenue, and Sonny personally visits him in Vice City. Due to Lance's betrayal, he is forced into a large shootout with the Forelli crew, in which he kills Sonny, Lance, and the hit squad, finally securing his empire and gang in the city, with Ken Rosenberg as his main partner. It is also during this major gunfight that Tommy discovers that Sonny actually set up the eleven people to ambush Tommy and caused him to spend fifteen years in prison.
At the end of the game, Tommy is shown to have become an extremely powerful figure in Vice City's criminal underworld. He has established the Vercetti Family, and he is shown to own a huge mansion, many businesses as fronts, and also has a dominating role in established drug trades in Vice City. He also leads the most powerful family in Vice City, still retaining his well-known nickname, and his defeat of the Forelli family leader is the beginning of the Forelli decline in the Liberty City. Also, with the cooperation from the Big Mitch Baker's Bikers and the Los Cabrones, they are shown to be Vercetti's mutual business partners. Tommy, at the end of the game, is the kingpin of Vice City.
The character of Tommy Vercetti received very positive reviews and remarks from critics and players of Vice City, making it to many lists of the best video game characters. He was included on IGN's list of Grand Theft Auto Favorite Badasses. They said "as much as we admire the strong-but-silent types, by the time Vice City rolled around, we were ready for a more fleshed-out protagonist. We got just that in the Hawaiian shirt-loving Tommy Vercetti."Crave Online also placed Tommy second on their Top 10 Most Memorable GTA Characters, stating that playing as him was "a breath of fresh air". In 2008, The Age ranked Vercetti as the 29th greatest Xbox character of all time.UGO Networks ranked Vercetti at 23rd on their list of the 25 most memorable Italians in video games. In 2013, Complex placed Vercetti eighth in a list of "12 Old School Video Game Characters Who Were Style Icons".
GameDaily included him in a top 25 list of video game anti-heroes, placing him ninth, and praising Ray Liotta's portrayal as having transformed him from a generic-looking thug to a "tough guy who ruled the 80's." PlayStation Beyond also placed him second in their Top 5 anti-heroes in gaming, saying "All we know about Tommy Vercetti ... is that he's a mobster and he recently got out of prison, making him look more villain-like, which makes him one of the most anti-heroic characters of Grand Theft Auto. Similarly, The Telegraph placed Tommy ninth on their Top 10 video game anti-heroes, stating that they "could have populated the list entirely with lead characters from GTA titles", but they "decided to pick out the most amoral of the bunch".