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|“||War is where the young and stupid are tricked by the old and bitter into killing each other.||„|
|~ Niko Bellic|
Niko Bellic (born June 25, 1978) (in Serbian: Нико Белић) is a main character from the HD open-world Grand Theft Auto franchise, appearing as the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV, a supporting character in its first extension Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, an antagonist in it's second extension Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony, and is mentioned by both Lester Crest and Packie McReary in Grand Theft Auto V.
Although having committed many villainous deeds, Niko is shown to be very protective and nice towards his family and friends, and is one of the kindest GTA protagonists. Aside from his "jobs", he displays a nicer behavior, helping poor NPC's for instance.
He was voiced by Michael Hollick.
Appearance in Grand Theft Auto IV
Niko is a quite tall Caucasian male in his thirties. He has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a tiny bear. He usually sports a stern, emotionless look. Also, Niko has a scar running through his left brow. He most likely got the scar during the war, but this is just implied. Despite having an average build, Niko is quite strong and several characters call him through the story "big man" or "big guy".
His casual outfit is a brown jacket, dark gray trousers, and brown shoes. However the player has access to several outfits as he/she progress: a medical outfit (which Niko use to kill Anthony Corrado), an expensive suit (which Niko use during official events such as the Roman's wedding), an outfit from the "Statue of Happiness" or even Claude's outfit (from the hero of Grand Theft Auto III). He also can wear a balaclava (from the bank robbery).
Personality and Behavior
At first, Niko appears to be humble, but a very cold assassin, who take most orders without the slightest redundancy. He is almost emotionless, only expressing anger whenever he faces his enemies. Despite his coldness, he can be friendly and a loving individual (such as with Kate). He is incredibly protective towards his relatives, especially his cousin Roman, whom he saved his life more than one time during the storyline. He frequently enters in a terrible anger whenever his cousin or close friends are threatened by somebody (usually criminals), and once this happens, he becomes a reckless, determined and merciless killer. Unlike most GTA's protagonists, Niko is not greedy by nature, and do not seek money.
Niko's biggest weakness is his inability to let go of the past - which causes him much aggression when the issue of finding his betrayers comes up; Niko is criticized by many of his friends and most notably Roman, for this weakness. However, Packie knows his feelings and often show compassion, as well as Kate. Additionally, one of his main traits is his cynicism and nihilism, which he acquired from the Yugoslavian war. He dislikes politics and the greedy mannerisms of Roman (saying for instance "capitalism is a dirty business" after saving the latter from the Albanians), as well as the American society, which he finds hypocritical and extremely materialistic. However, he does not wish to return to Serbia due to the extreme state of disrepair of his home country.
Deep down, Niko is an insecure and confused man who just seek affection from his relative and peace in his life, as he just wants "Roman back" if the latter die after the Deal. He has absolutely any fear as he is willing to confront dozens of armed henchmen to save Roman or fighting highly trained NOOSE's agents to defend the crew during the robbery. In fact, he is a very wrathful man, and is willing to kill those he considers as traitorous betrayers, threats, arrogant dimwits (such as Vlad Glebov), or anyone who stand in his way, including "innocent" police officers; there are a few characters, however, that the player can spare but also kill as well, like Darko Brevic. He doesn't like to liar but is sometimes willing to keep the truth for himself, even if such attitude, unfortunately, lead to hypocrisy, which he ironically finds repulsive.
Niko's businesslike and pragmatic manner usually leads him to behave more maturely and cautiously than his acquaintances, although with acquaintances like Brucie Kibbutz, Bernie Crane and Roman, this is no surprise. He has an apparent distaste for illicit drugs, much like Carl Johnson. He frequently turns down Little Jacob's offers for marijuana and warns Packie about his cocaine habit. He also finds it distasteful to traffic in cocaine and particularly heroin, although this may be due to the heavy jail sentences they attract as much as any moral qualms. He is skeptical of American mainstream culture, which he sees as "shallow" and "hypocritical" and has trouble relating to Roman's fascination with the country. However, the reasons that being in America is far better than back in Serbia due to the country's instability and misery.
He is usually never emotionally disturbed by anyone besides figures from his past, such as Darko Brevic. If Niko kills Brevic, Niko will hesitate for a moment before unloading 12 shots (one for every member of Niko's army unit who was killed) into Brevic's body uncontrollably, even after Brevic's death after about the sixth shot. The only other figure that has visibly disturbed Niko is Eddie Low, who Niko is understandably creeped out by. This can even horrify the player to an extent, such as when Low makes scornful comments about all of the people he has murdered in gruesome ways or Low's clinginess towards Niko for being his "friend". During his encounters with Low, Niko's eyebrows are raised and his mouth is open in disbelief. Otherwise, Niko's face is usually very serious.
Niko almost always refuses alcohol when it is offered to him (he asks for water in the mission Ivan The Not So Terrible) except for the mission The Holland Play where Playboy X pours him a glass. Niko goes to drink it, but changes his mind and puts the glass on a table. There is a scene where Niko does drink a glass of vodka in the mission One Last Thing while talking to Jimmy Pegorino, but this is understandable considering what he had just been through. Niko may enjoy a drink, but knows the time and place for it. He refuses alcohol outright in instances where he needs to keep a sharp mind, such as during missions.
Without player control, he never hurt women while carjacking them. In addition, he may be a sadomasochist, as Alexandra Chilton comment that Niko did "kinky" things with her (if Niko dated her). However, it is never stated that Niko is a rapist.
Youth in Serbia
Niko Bellic was born in Yugoslavia in June 25, 1978, but he was now in Serbia. He had a very difficult childhood; it is implied that his dad was an alcoholic and abusive father. His mother was unhappy that her son grew up in this hellish place, but was unable to protect Niko. Once he reaches his teenage years, he was then forced to fight for the Serbians or at least one of many aligned Serbian paramilitary forces and militias. He served as a helicopter pilot, and several times has drive tanks. It has been heavily implied that Niko served and fought in the Yugoslavian Wars, but he never mentions it directly. His brother was killed in the Bosnian War.
As a soldier, he witnessed many atrocities, either committed by enemies or his own faction. However, his squad was betrayed by Darko Brevic (for a thousand dollars - Brevic was suffering from severe addiction due to the war), and only him, Darko and Florian survived. After this event, the three split up, and Niko has sworn to find the traitor. While Roman Bellic - his cousin - has already move to Liberty City and established a taxi company, Niko, unable to find a job in his devastated country, worked as a criminal for Ray Bulgarin, but eventually became Bulgarin's enemy. During this time, he was unable to find Florian nor Darko (the two have also moved to Liberty City).
Following his cousin wishes, and looking for the betrayer, Niko took place into the Platypus and went into Liberty City as an illegal immigrant. In the boat he met and befriended Hossan and several passengers, who are all immigrants. Once arrived, Niko discovered that Roman not only lied about the "mansion", but also has a lot of debts. He saved Roman several times from Albanians loan sharks who wanted him death, eventually killing them.
Working for Mikhail Faustin
One day at Roman's depot, a man named Vlad Glebov was sitting here, flirting with Roman's girlfriend Mallorie Bardas. After leaving, Niko asked Mallorie who was he, and she revealed that he was a "collector of debts". Looking for money, Niko decided to work for Vlad, despite his arrogant and abusive behavior.
However, Vlad was secretly cheating with Mallorie. Once Niko learnt that, he went to the Comrade's Bar (where Vlad usually stand) and after a chase, killed him without mercy. However, this awoke Mikhail Faustin's anger, who Vlad was working for. Andrei, one of Faustin's henchman, successfully got Niko and Roman at the same time. After smuggling them to his basement and tying them, he asked Niko why he killed Vlad, and Niko responded that he was "an asshole". Mikhail agreed and brutally killed Andrei, and then proceed to wound Roman who was crying.
He freed the two and Dimitri Rascalov, who is Faustin's "friend", took care of Roman. Therefore, Niko accepted to do works for Faustin, and befriended Dimitri. In the meantime, he fell in love with Michelle, one of Roman's friend, and the two eventually formed a couple.
Killing Mikhail Faustin
However, Faustin was flipping out, and threatened to create a gang war. Having enough, Dimitri decided to betray his master and asked Niko to kill him. After a short chase, Niko killed Faustin, but before this, the latter warned him about Dimitri's treacherous and greedy nature. Then, Niko met Roman's friend Jacobs Hughes alias "Little Jacob", who is one of the head of the Jamaican drug-dealing gang. The two became close friends and they together do several tasks, usually involving gunfights.
After killing Faustin, Dimitri told Niko to meet him around the back of an abandoned warehouse in East Hook to collect the payment for Faustin's assassination. Niko agreed but Little Jacob was suspicious about Rascalov's intentions, and the two went together, albeit Jacob hided behind a wall, observing the scene. Rascalov was here, but didn't paid Niko; instead, he brought back Niko's old nemesis, Ray Bulgarin. Niko tried to justify but Bulgarin and Rascalov instead were going to kill him, however thanks to Little Jacob Niko survived and a gunfight ensued in the warehouse, full of Rascalov's and Bulgarin's minions. After defeating their enemies, the duo fled the LCPD and Niko thanked Jacob for his assistance. Niko then worked for Brucie Kibbutz, who is also one of Roman's friend. Niko did several for Brucie, and also races for him. Mallorie then present Niko to Manny Escuala, a "vigilante" who want to get rid of the drugs, and the two did several missions, involving the elimination of drug-dealers and pimps. Once Niko has enough of Manny, Mallorie told him that he can find work to Elizabeta Torres, a female crime lord. His first task is to protect one of Torres' associate, Patrick McReary, during a drug-dealing. Niko successfully protect Packie during the meeting (which was ambushed) and the two became step by step friends.
One day, Mallorie phoned Niko, telling him that Roman has vanished. The two started to worry and eventually, Dimitri sent the pic of an tied Roman at Niko. Bursting out of rage, Niko sworn to "cut the face" of DImitri. He deduced the place where Roman was kidnapped, went here and killed every of Dimitri's goons (including Roman's kidnapper). However in the meantime, several Dimitri's henchmen have burned the depot, and Niko and Roman are forced to move to Alderney.
Working for the McReary
Then he began to work for the McReary family. He helped Francis McReary, corrupted Police Commissioner and self-proclaimed "vigilante" of the city, to get rid of several pimps, including Clarence Little, but also blackmailers who threat Francis to expose his corruption to the public. Niko killed the blackmailer and the advocate - Tom Goldberg - who intended to sue Francis in court. With the help of Niko, the family also rob the Liberty City's Bank, killing countless cops and NOOSE (National Office of Security Enforcement) agents in the process. He also befriended and fell in love with Packie's sister, Kate. He also met Trey Stuart, better known as "Playboy X", a drug-dealer and pimp who wasn't threaten by Francis. The two work together and notably clear several of the rival gang's assets, but then Playboy X asked Niko to get rid of his old "friend" and now current enemy Dwayne, while Dwayne ask the same. It is up for the player to make his choice.
It is revealed that Michelle is actually a federal agent who work for the government. She blackmailed Niko to work for an enigmatic contact of the United Liberty Paper - a IAA's branch - and do several tasks. Niko was forced to agree but him and the Contact eventually became associates.
Working for the Pegorino's
He also met Ray Boccino, a lieutenant from the Pegorino crime's family, which is one of the smallest gang of the city. Ray assigned Niko to oversee a deal between his family and the Jewish mafia, which is foiled by Luis Lopez. Niko survived but the diamonds are stolen by Johnny Klebitz. In retaliation, Ray ordered Niko to chase and take down Johnny friend's Jim. Then, Niko destroyed the remaining Jewish traffickers, but can spare their chiefs.
Eventually, Ray informs Niko that he may have found one of the potential betrayer: Florian Cravic. Niko immediately went to Cravic's apartment, only to found a terrified and harmless man whose name changed to Bernie Cranes. After a brief confrontation, Niko understood that Bernie wasn't the betrayer. However, he learnt that Bernie is constantly harassed by blackmailers who want to expose his relation with the highly homophobic (and hypocrite) deputy Bryce Dawkins. He protected him and his boyfriend from several attackers, every of them hired, once again, by Dimitri. In the meantime, Jimmy Pegorino, don of the eponymous crime's family, became paranoid and ordered Niko to kill Anthony Corrado and Ray Boccino.
The contact presents Niko to Jon Gravelli, a former crime lord in his hospital's bed who want to get rid of the Russians led by Dimitri and Bulgarin. In reward, the two promise to find the betrayer, Darko Brevic, and also to leave Niko alone. Niko agreed and destroy several Russian's assets.
Near the end of the game, Darko is dropped by IAA's agents. He appears to be a very dirty, poor and weakened man. He reveals to Niko that he sold the squad for a thousand dollars to buy drugs due to his addictions. Niko has then the choice to kill or spare him. This has no impact to the storyline, as Darko is nothing and eventually die no matter the choice made.
If the player choice to oversee the deal between the Pegorino's and Rascalov's families, he will take the money at a mafia warehouse. After betraying again, Dimitri leaves Niko to steal the money alongside Phil Bell. Both survive and several days later, Roman announced to his cousin that "tomorrow" is the day his wedding. The next day, Niko went to the wedding, but one of the guest is actually an assassin hired by Dimitri and Jimmy to get rid of Niko. Niko survived but instead, the assassin killed Roman.
Niko and Little Jacob then followed a group of mobsters who lead them to the place where hide Pegorino and Rascalov, henceforth hated by nearly the whole city. After killing a dozen of henchmen, Niko witnessed Pegorino being betrayed and killed mercilessly by Dimitri, who want the money for all himself, and try to flee the city. Niko, alongside Little Jacob chase him and his remaining minions for every deeds they done. Dimitri helicopter's is gunned down near the statue of Happiness; after a brief gunfight, Niko finally gets rid of his nemesis.
If the player choice to break the deal between the Pegorino's and Rascalov's families, he will wipe out Dimitri and the rest of his gang who are located on the Platypus, destroying for good the nefarious gang. However, the deal being cut, Pegorino's family is definitively reduce to nothingness. Some day later, Roman announced to his cousin that "tomorrow" is his wedding. The next day, Niko went to the wedding, but Pegorino showed up in a car alongside his capos (lieutenants) and open fire, gunning down Kate.
Niko, Little Jacob and Roman then followed a group of mobsters who lead them to the place where hide Pegorino, henceforth hated by nearly the whole city. After killing a dozen of henchmen, Niko confronts Jimmy. The latter manages to escape from the boat at Happiness Island and run under the Statue of Happiness while Niko safely lands the burning helicopter and goes after Pegorino. After a gunfight, Jimmy is taken down by Niko who gets his revenge.
After Grand Theft Auto IV
Niko's crimes, and notably the fact that he successfully robbed the Liberty City's Bank and wiped out two crime's family from his own hand, have left an imprint to the criminal underworld of Liberty City. He is even known by Lester at the time of the events of Grand Theft Auto V.
However, it seems that Niko gave up his criminal life and cut all of his previous ties, as Packie mentions it. Niko lives now a peaceful life yet tormented by the past events, having faced all of his demons. Nevertheless, he is still chased by the LCPD for every crimes he did.
- Military Training: Niko spent years in the army that he is a highly trained and intelligent criminal.
- Survival skills: His military training allows him to survive in the most hostile environment, including urban areas, which is very useful in the concreted Liberty City and its large buildings.
- Nigh-infinite stamina: Niko is one of the few characters, alongside Luis Fernando Lopez and Johnny Klebitz, who can indefinitely run, no matter what weapon he's carrying. This allows him to outrun most of the enemies as well as most cops who are in bad physical condition. Niko can also swim for several in-game hours (i.e. several real-life minutes), although he'll drown if he swims for too long.
- Speed: Although not the fastest character from the Grand Theft Auto franchise, he's still faster than most of the characters (including Johnny Klebitz).
- Durability: He has a high level of tolerance for pain and therefore can sustain several shots before dying.
- Strength: Although not the strongest character from the Grand Theft Autos franchise, Niko has a significant amount of strength, superior to most of the characters.
- Reflexes of steal: He has fast reflexes. For instance, he manages to dodge Eddie Low's hit when the latter tried to slay him. However, his reflexes are flawed, as Andrei successfully manages to surprise Niko from behind and knock him out with a shotgun. (Although Andrei is the only character to have successfully did this.)
- Master Martial Artist: Niko is shown to be a highly efficient fighter and skilled martial artist. He is skilled in the use of Krav Maga. He is trained in armed and unarmed combat and in the use of improvised weapons. He can also disarm enemies and render them unconscious at the same time.
- Enhanced equilibrium: Niko has an enhanced equilibrium, which allow him to stay in place and aiming even if getting shot. Only a few selected characters in the GTA IV-era (including very few NPC encountered during the game and the others protagonists Luis Lopez and Johnny Klebitz) have this ability.
- Marksmanship: Niko is a deadly shooter. He knows how to use every gun of the game and can defeat countless armed thugs or even highly trained forces such as NOOSE's teams with slight efforts.
- Commandment: Niko has an intense charisma which allows him to command his allies even in the worst of cases. For instance, he convinces the team during the Liberty City Bank's robbing to go into the subway in order to lose the police. However, he is not a control freak, and often refer to his bosses or allies.
- Enhanced driving/piloting skills: He can drive every kind of vehicles, boats and even helicopters, and also do drive-by while doing so.
- Persuasion, deception and manipulation: even if he does not like this (unlike his nemesis Dimitri), Niko is a master manipulator and can trick his enemies in order to kill them easily. An instance is when he kills Francis/Derrick, and then hide the truth to Packie (and the McReary's family).
- Robbing skills: During the robbery, he was a precise, very efficient and cold-blooded raider.
- Fearlessness: Niko has nearly no fear of anybody. The only person he fears could be the serial killer Eddie Low.
Although it is one of the less ruthless protagonists (of course, when compared with Tommy Vercetti), you can still classify as a villain by the fact that he has direct connections with mafias and criminal gangs, telling the optional murders and human trafficking he once performed. Also, Niko is one of the most lethal GTA's protagonists (aside Claude Speed), as he wiped out two entire criminal factions and killed countless goons.
And, obviously, like any protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the player has the choice and ability to kill thousands and hundreds of innocent people, making Niko a brutal killer.
Before the events of GTA IV
- He worked under Ray Bulgarin's orders as an illegal smuggler, involving in human trafficking.
- It is implied by Darko that Niko and his paramilitary crew might have committed some war crimes during the Yugoslavian war, albeit this is not confirmed.
During free roam
All of these villainous crimes are non-canonical and only up to the player choice:
- Punching and abusing people.
- Gunning down people.
- Car-jacking people, stealing parked cars and cars in luxury galleries.
- Driving recklessly, crushing people.
- Vandalize cars or buildings.
- Exploding gas cylinders.
- Robbing shops.
- Can assassinate people for The Fixer.
- Can deal drugs for Little Jacob.
During the Storyline
- In the mission Bull in a China Shop, he smashed a shop window and retrieve Vlad's money from a "poor" Chinese shopkeeper.
- In the mission Clean Getaway, he stole a car that belonged to Vlad.
- In the mission Do You Have Protection?, he threatened Joseph Kaplan at a sex shop, then reclaimed the money and go to the gun along Dimitri Rascalov shop to receive a gun after leaving or killing Joseph.
- In the mission No Love Lost, he assassinated Jason Michaels under Faustin's orders.
- In the mission Shadow, he followed a dealer to his apartment, then massacred him and his backup.
- In the mission Rigged to Blow, he destroyed Kenny Petrovic's garage.
- In the mission Search and Delete, he whacked Lyle Rivas under Brucie's order.
- In the mission Final Interview, he killed Tom Goldberg for blackmailing Francis McReary.
- Along Packie, he kidnapped Gracie Ancoletti, then sent this by phone to her father so he was forced to surrender to their blackmail.
- In the mission Late Checkout, he killed Isaac Roth and all of his bodyguards. However the player has the choice to spare the elderly mobster.
- In the mission Tunnel of Death, he murdered Aiden O'Malley.
- In the mission Dining Out, he killed Kim Young-Guk.
- In the mission Three Leaf Clover, he successfully, alongside Packie and his brothers, robbed the Liberty City's Bank and managed to slaughter every cop who tried to stop the crew from fleeing, wiping an entire NOOSE's team in the process.
- This is possibly his worst crime as he did not only robbed a million (he later received $200000), but also killed countless policemen (albeit he only did this by pure necessity and not malice also the player can let Packie and Derrick kills the cops instead). The player has also the choice to kill a few hostages before leaving the bank, including Luis Fernando Lopez.
- In the mission Flatliine, disguised as a doctor, he murdered Antonny Corrado for betraying Jimmy Pegorino.
- Roman Bellic - cousin; status dependant upon player's choice.
- Mallorie Bardas-Bellic - Roman's spouse.
- Niko's father †
- Niko's mother
- Unknown brother †
- Little Jacob - co-leader of the Yardies
- The Yardies
- Brucie Kibbutz - self-made bodybuilder
- Patrick "Packie" McReary - one of the main leaders from the McReary crime family
- Dwayne Forge - status dependant upon player's choice.
- Bryce Dawkins
- United Liberty Contact Paper † (murdered in GTA V)
- Real Badman - Jacob's brother and co-leader of the Yardies
- McReary's family
- Phil Bell
- IAA (CIA)
- Elizabeta Torres (imprisoned)
- Johnny Klebitz † - leader from the LOST, ally by proxy (killed by Trevor Phillips)
- Dimitri Rascalov † - leader of the Rascalov's crime syndicate
- Rascalov's mafia †
- Jimmy Pegorino † - don of the Pegorino's family
- Pegorino's mafia †
- Darko Brevic †
- Vlad Glebov † - Faustin's lieutenant
- Mikhail Faustin † - leader of the Faustin's crime syndicate
- Trey Stewart/Playboy X (determinant)
- Stewart's goons †
- Clarence Little (determinant)
- Little's goons †
- Ray Boccino † - Pegorino's caporegime
- Boccino's goons †
- Eddie Low † - serial killer
- Ray Bulgarin † - leader of the Bulgarin's mafia, former Niko's employer
- Bulgarin's crime syndicate †
- Jewish mafia †
- Jason †
- Jason's friends from the LOST †
- Jim †
- Luis Lopez
- Tom Goldberg †
- LCPD Determiant
- National Office Of Security Enforcement (SWAT)
- Eddie Low - serial killer, status dependant upon player's choice
- Many gangsters, hitmen and others criminals facing the player during the assassination missions.
- He is the first protagonist from the HD era.
- Niko had a childhood crush on a girl from his village, named Mila Tadic. Roman will confirm this during friend activities.
- Similarly to Roman Bellic, Dimitri Rascalov, Mikhail Faustin, and Vlad Glebov, he likes listening to traditional Eastern European music.
- Niko's last name is actually pronounced 'Bellich' (Belić) which most of the characters and Niko himself pronounce wrong.