Grand Theft Ordinary – Day 3: A Desire Named Street Car

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The continuing tales of my attempts to stay on the right side of the tracks in GTA IV’s Liberty City. There are, I’m afraid some continuity issues between last times entry and todays – I stupidly continued the story whhen I wasn’t being all legal and whatnot, and therefore got my apartment and taxi company burned down and myself evicted to a different apartment, jobless and without any means of transport. As a result, my priority for the day would be to get a new car legally.

There’s no easy way to link last time to now, so I’m just going to gloss over it. I would need a car if I wanted to get anywhere in this bustling metropolis, and seeing as I no longer had access to Roman’s taxi, I would have to try scouring Liberty City for a legal alternative. For anyone who has played any of the GTA games, getting a car is one of the simplest and easiest tasks in the game – you simply walk up to a car, occupied or not, press a button and wait until you’re ready to drive. However, this would count as Grand Theft Auto and therefore is against the law. Now, I had no idea whether there was another option to getting a car in GTA IV, but I seemed to remember that it was possible to purchase cars at the docks of GTA III, so I thought there might be some kind of service available. In any case, I decided to start my day flicking through the TV channels in my apartment.

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It would seem that somebody up there either likes me, or is teasing me. After a couple of seconds of poker, I switch channels to find that an advert for a used car salesman was on. Unfortunately, the advert contained no number or location that I could remember, so I was left with nothing but a vaguely confused idea that buying a car might be a viable alternative after all. After switching back to the poker for a bit more, I left the house in search of this used car thing. I then came across a major problem – I no longer had access to free taxis around the city due to my little explosive accident with Roman’s business, so it was either walk or get a taxi. Then I realised I had a larger problem – I had no idea where to go.

It was time to phone a friend, it seemed. Or at least instant message them through Steam. Slappy didn’t know if buying a car was possible either, but he did remember something on the ingame version of the internet about buying cars. Somewhat encouraged, I hailed a taxi and asked them to take me to my local internet cafe, Tw@. Upon arrival, I sat down and logged on, and sure enough there was an advert for online car sales. There were a number of cars available, mostly out of my budget anyway, but I selected one and noted the number down before leaving the cafe. I gave the number a ring once I was out on the street, to no avail. It seemed that these car sales were just a front for something, as everytime I tried the number I merely got a ‘busy’ tone. I was still without a car.

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The next few hours went by with a crawl. Nobody else I contacted seemed to know anything about buying a car, so I elected to just wander around aimlessly until I either gave up or my problem resolved itself. I had wound up walking along the grassy middle of the freeway when I came across this sight:

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Clearly even the police weren’t that bothered about the law, or even whose head they were currently squashing with their car.I was getting seriously depressed about my lack of car now, so I just continued onewards. Liberty city had begun to kill my enthusiasm for this way of playing right from the start, but without any sense of purpose or direction I was seriously close to giving up.

Happily, however, I did find something to solve at least one of my problems. Several hours later, as dusk was settling over the city, I came across an abandoned car crashed into the side of the highway. The car was in a bad way, with a huge dent in the front bonnet, but I was fairly sure it would run for long enough for me to get it home. Was it legal to take a car that you found abandoned at the side of the road? Probably not, but I was miles away from home by now and not really willing to care for the law for much longer. I got in.

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The car did indeed make it back to my apartment in one piece, barely, but tomorrow I would have to try to make it to an auto-repairs shop without it dying on me. That, as it turned out, would be much harder than I originally thought.

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