Claude (Grand Theft Auto)

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Grand Theft Auto character
A computer generated image of a brown haired man. He wears a black shirt and black jacket, grey pants and blue sneakers.
Claude, as seen in Grand Theft Auto III.
First appearanceGrand Theft Auto III (2001)
Last appearanceGrand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
Created byRockstar Games

Claude is a fictional character and the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto III, a game in the Grand Theft Auto series by Rockstar Games. He also has a cameo appearance in a later game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Claude is a silent protagonist, and therefore has no voice actor.

The game never disclosed Claude's name; it was later revealed in data files. Rockstar never had any specific inspiration when developing Claude. The designers preferred to base the character on a strong and silent killer.

Character design[edit]

An early piece of concept art featuring Claude, sporting a hooded jacket and a near-shaved head hairstyle.

Rockstar have confessed that there wasn't "any one single inspiration" for Claude, but that they liked the idea of a "strong, silent killer, who would be juxtaposed with all of these neurotic and verbose mobsters in an amusing way." They said that he seems "stronger and in control", while other people seem "weaker and frantic."[1]

Claude's name is never disclosed in the game. Although his name can be found within GTA III's text and data files,[2] it is not officially mentioned until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. There is much speculation whether or not Claude from Grand Theft Auto III is the main protagonist from Grand Theft Auto 2, named "Claude Speed".[3] This is due to the same first names, manner of attire, and physical appearances. When asked to confirm such debate, Rockstar Games simply stated that his surname "may or may not be Speed,"[1] and that it seems "very likely" that they are the same character.[4]

Throughout almost the entire story of Grand Theft Auto III, Claude is seen wearing a black leather jacket with a black T-shirt underneath, green cargo pants, and blue trainers with white soles. He also has dark brown hair with his fringe sticking out.[3] Claude's outfit is also unlockable in Grand Theft Auto IV.[5][6]

Claude is never seen or heard uttering a single word throughout his appearances (excluding quiet grunts when he is injured or killed). When questioned about this topic, Rockstar stated that "[they] had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue".[1][7] At one point during the course of a game, Maria makes a telephone call to one of the in-game radio stations, explaining that she "met a new man" but "he don't talk too much". Claude continues to stay silent during his cameo appearances in San Andreas. Despite rumours, Rockstar "at no point" planned to make Claude a speaking protagonist.[1]

In Grand Theft Auto Online, players can choose what their character looks like by selecting between different parents; Claude is one of the special parents available, meaning that players can select Claude, so that their character has a level of resemblance to him. An image of Claude is displayed in an updated high definition form.[8][9]


In 1992, Claude became involved with Catalina in San Andreas, who had recently split up with Carl "CJ" Johnson, before racing Carl in a losing effort. Following the loss, Claude and Catalina left San Andreas and headed to Liberty City. In 2001, whilst robbing a bank in Liberty City, Catalina shot Claude and left him for dead, where he is later arrested by the Liberty City Police Department and sentenced to ten years in prison. While being transferred to a prison, Claude escapes from a police convoy with fellow criminal 8-Ball, who introduces him to Luigi Goterelli, who employs Claude as a courier. Whilst working for Luigi, Claude is introduced to Joey Leone, for whom he also does some work. After many successful jobs, Claude is introduced to many more employers, such as Toni Cipriani and Salvatore Leone. Later during the game, Salvatore attempts to kill Claude by having him enter a bomb-laden car, but Salvatore's wife Maria Latore meets Claude and directs him to a different location, where they meet Asuka Kasen, who orders Claude to kill Salvatore.

Asuka later introduces Claude to her brother Kenji, and corrupt police officer Ray Machowski, for whom Claude completes more jobs. After doing more jobs, Claude finds himself in a situation where he is ordered to kill Kenji. Asuka, unaware of Claude's role in Kenji's death, launches an assault on the building site of Miguel. After completing more work for more employers, Claude returns to the building site to find that both Asuka and Miguel are dead, and he finds a note left from Catalina, explaining that they have captured Maria. Claude then leaves to rescue Maria, where he walks into an ambush, which he manages to escape. Afterwards, he destroys a helicopter piloted by Catalina, thus killing her, and rescues Maria. While Maria is talking, a gunshot is heard, and the game ends, leaving much speculation as to what happened to Maria. Rockstar have since confirmed that Claude was not killed by the gunshot, but the fate of Maria is still unknown.[1]


The character was well received. Including him in their list of "Grand Theft Auto Favorite Badasses", IGN stated that "the argument is often made that silent characters are easier for the player to identify with. That's certainly true in the case of Claude."[10] CraveOnline placed Claude eighth on their "Top 10 Most Memorable GTA Characters" as "the face of a video game that inarguably changed the shape of the industry forever".[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e R* Q (December 15, 2011). "Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Other Characters)". Rockstar Games. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Grand Theft Auto III (Grand Theft Auto III\text\american.gxt), DEFNAM -- Claude
  3. ^ a b Scheeden, Jesse (April 28, 2008). "Grand Theft Auto: Favorite Badasses". IGN. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  4. ^ R* Q (October 5, 2011). "Asked & Answered: Max Payne 3, L.A. Noire, Red Dead and More". Rockstar Games. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "How to Make Niko Wear Claude from GTA 3's Clothes in GTA 4". wikiHow. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  6. ^ Wilson, Iain (31 August 2013). "The 15 biggest secrets of the Grand Theft Auto (image 9 of 15)". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  7. ^ Lin-Poole, Wesley (December 16, 2011). "Why Grand Theft Auto 3 has a silent protagonist". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  8. ^ R* Q (26 August 2013). "More Details and Screens from the Grand Theft Auto V Special and Collector's Edition Digital Content". Rockstar Games. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  9. ^ R* A (23 September 2013). "Some More Details on Grand Theft Auto Online". Rockstar Games. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  10. ^ Scheeden, Jesse (April 28, 2008). "Grand Theft Auto: Favorite Badasses". IGN. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Tamburro, Paul (November 2, 2012). "Top 10 Most Memorable GTA Characters". PlayStation Beyond. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
Preceded by
Claude Speed
Grand Theft Auto 2
Protagonist of Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto III
Succeeded by
Tommy Vercetti
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City