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|“||Nothing drives down real estate prices like a good old fashioned gang war, apart from the outbreak of a plague, but that might be going too far in this case.||„|
|~ Donald Love to Claude.|
Donald Love is a character in the Grand Theft Auto video game series. He serves as a main character in Grand Theft Auto III, a cameo character in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and the tritagonist in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
He is depicted as a wealthy media mogul with macabre hobbies. Throughout his appearances, Love meets some protagonists like Toni Cipriani and Claude, enlisting their help to different tasks he gives to them to further his own agenda to make profit for himself or get rid of his rivals. He is best known among fans to be one of the most despicable and disgusting characters in the series.
In GTA III, he was voiced by Kyle MacLachlan, who also played Dale Cooper's doppelganger in Twin Peaks, Earl Raymond Diggs in Tales from the Crypt, Cliff Vandercave in the 1994 The Flintstones film, King Claudius in the 2000 film adaptation of Hamlet, Calvin L. Johnson in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Isaac Izzard in The House with a Clock in its Walls. In Vice City, he was voiced by Cam Neely. In GTA Liberty City Stories, he was voiced by Will Janowitz.
Donald Love is a wealthy tycoon real estate who was the protégé of another entrepreneur with ruthless methods named Avery Carrington (who was Tommy Vercetti's partner in Vice City). Love eventually moved to Liberty City in 1998 where he built relationships with mobsters Toni Cipriani and Salvatore Leone in order to win the elections.
He lost not only the elections but his wealth as well. Bankrupted, he has Toni Cipriani kill his former mentor Avery and steal his re-development plans for Fort Staunton. Then, he has Fort Staunton destroyed, and used this opportunity to make even more money than before.
He severed his ties with the Leone and later hires Claude to kill the Yakuza's leader in a Cartel car, thus provoking a gang war between the Yakuza and the Cartel. Donald Love eventually disappears and is not to be seen again in later GTA's games.
Donald Love has painted himself as an energetic, charismatic, wealthy bachelor, but his true personality is hidden to all but his closest associates.
While appearing well-mannered towards the protagonists and Salvatore Leone, Donald is actually deranged, sly, clever, manipulative, egotistical, power-hungry and eccentric. He appears quite childish and immature in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Stories, but became more like a composed mastermind in Grand Theft Auto III. He is rather optimistic, but sometimes loses his cool and even berates Toni Cipriani for his failures, especially when he was nearly ruined.
Donald is a cannibal, which disgusts Toni. He doesn't seem to have any qualms on what person he decides to consume, as he ate his own mentor, Avery Carrington at one of his "parties" (though Love's dialogue suggests that Avery wasn't above doing the same to him should the opportunity to profit from it ever came up when he stated that even Avery would be proud of his attempt at his life). While in Grand Theft Auto III, his bizarre tastes are implied, but not confirmed, in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Stories Donald shows his true colors.
Love has no boundaries and is willing to do everything in his quest of fortune. An opportunistic sadist, he happily orders the annihilation of Fort Staunton without a second thought (obviously knowing it would end hundreds and hundreds of innocent lives), and orders his associates to bring corpses for his "morgue parties", during which he presumably rapes them aside from eating them.
He appears with a suit in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. He was more flamboyant in those games than in Grand Theft Auto III, in which he got an older and sterner look.
- In order to win the elections, he orders Toni Cipriani to murder several of his opponents and their supporters.
- He also has Toni destroys evidences of his links with the Leone Family.
- He orders to kill his mentor Avery Carrington as well as the corrupt reporter Ned Burner. He also asks Toni to deliver their bodies to him for his "morgue parties".
- In one scene he is seen eating a human torso. He also humorously told Toni that it has a good taste and asks Toni if he wants a piece of flesh, but Toni, horrified, politely declined.
- He orders Claude to murder the leader of the Yakuza, so it will trigger a war between the Cartel and the Yakuza.
- Love's most heinous crime is orchestrating the bombing of the the heavily populated Fort Staunton (which is also a Forelli strong hold), and then use the stolen intellectual property of Avery Carrington to head the redevelopment and real estate projects of the neighborhood, earning billions of dollars in the process. This act (committed by Toni under heavy pressure by Love) has probably taken the lives of thousands innocent people, even thought the true amount of victims is never revealed. This also explains the existence of the construction site in Grand Theft Auto III.
Probably, Donald Love is one of the characters in the Grand Theft Auto series that has committed the worst atrocities, especially with the destruction of Fort Staunton. Oddly enough, he never serves as an antagonist in both GTA III and GTA: LCS, and had escaped without any punishment and without getting killed either. This may explain why Love was so successful, since he would have been easily killed if he was at any point against the protagonist.
- His name, the fact that he owns multiple companies and he wants to be mayor suggests that he is a parody of real-life retail tycoon, billionaire and former United States president Donald Trump. The fact that Love lost the mayoral election mirrors Trump's unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign, years before he successfully ran for the presidency in 2016 before losing out to Joe Biden in 2020.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the only game where he never does anything evil, considering that his appearance in such game was just a nonspeaking cameo, though he was originally intended to play a larger role. This is unknown, however, if he was supposed to do anything evil in this game.
- There's a rumor that in the beta version of GTA III there was originally a mission entitled "Love Hurts" given by Darkel in which Claude had to crash an airplane on the Headquarters of Love Media, killing Love in the process. It's said that such mission was removed from the game after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on World Trade Center took place. Rockstar, however, has dismissed this rumor as untrue.
- While what happens with Donald Love following the events of GTA III is unknown, Rockstar Games confirmed in 2009 that Love actually left Liberty City to find a way back to normality after acknowledging that he had crossed a few boundaries (possibly his cannibalism and alleged necrophilia), yet it cannot be speculated whether Love actually succeeded on his mission nor what happened with the Old Oriental Man too as he had made no further appearances in future Grand Theft Auto games.
- He and Avon Hertz are arguably the two worst villains in the series (not including games from Bully and Manhunt). While Avon is indeed killed by the GTA Online Protagonists, Donald Love had escaped without the protagonists (namely both Claude and Toni Cipriani) or the authorities ever finding out, thus making him the only villain to have succeeded with no comeuppance delivered at all.