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|“||My old man used to work on these. I used to spend the evenings with him cleaning the rollers. I was gonna follow him in his trade but... I lived a different life.||„|
|~ Tommy Vercetti|
Thomas "Tommy" Vercetti (born December 18, 1951) is the villainous protagonist of the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and an mentioned character in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He is a vengeful criminal determined to take over Vice City.
Tommy has the appearance of a light-skinned, black haired man in his mid-thirties. He usually has his hair styled neatly and frequently wears a blue Hawaiian shirt and stone-washed blue jeans. Aside from his "street clothes", Tommy also wears colorful 80's-style suits, like many other characters in the game. He bears somewhat of a resemblance to GTA V's protagonist Michael De Santa, causing many fans to believe that Michael in fact was Tommy before the GTA V's release.
Tommy's personality, storyline, place of residence and physical appearance is based on Tony Montana, the main character of the 1983 film Scarface. Tommy's mansion is in fact almost a complete remake of Montana's mansion, with some differences.
Tommy Vercetti is portrayed as both smart and temperamental. He acts very harshly, even to his friends, but places explicit trust in his associates. He is very bitter about his time in prison, and fondly remembers his childhood which he spent in his father's printing shop. On the other side, Tommy is capable of brutal violence and has killed more people than most GTA protagonists, and has even killed close friends who betrayed him such as Sonny Forelli and Lance Vance. Despite all of this, Tommy can also show a form of politeness at times; also, he does save his close associates and friends if they are in need.
Unlike the other protagonists, Tommy is not above dealing drugs and the game's plot mostly revolves around Tommy seizing control of Vice City from the criminals who previously controlled it. Another trait of Tommy is that he feels almost no remorse while liquidating his victims, no matter whether they are his friends or not; however, he slightly regrets killing his old friend and mentor at the very end of the game.
Tommy Vercetti was born in Liberty City and at some point met and befriended local thug Sonny Forelli, whose gang he later joined. Around 1971, Sonny had grown jealous of Tommy's rapid rise in notoriety and organized an ambush in Harwood, Liberty City. The ambush proved unsuccessful as Tommy ended up slaying all eleven of his attackers, earning him the nickname "The Harwood Butcher". He ended up imprisoned for his crimes and served time until 1986 when the game's story takes place.
Events of Vice City
In 1986, Tommy Vercetti is released from prison after Sonny "pulled some strings". Fearing that Tommy is "too well-known" in Liberty City, and also wanting to expand into the drugs trade in the south, Sonny sends Tommy to Vice City. Tommy flies to Vice City along with Harry and Lee, meeting Ken Rosenberg at the airport, before immediately driving to a drug deal at the docks. The drug deal turns into an ambush, and Harry, Lee, and one of the drug dealers are killed. Only Tommy, Ken, and the other dealer escape the attack.
Tommy informs Sonny of the ambush and is reminded that Sonny is "not a man to be screwed with; Sonny makes it clear he wants his money and his drugs back. Tommy initially works for Ken, starting riots and intimidating jurors. While working for Ken, Tommy also meets Lance Vance, the other dealer, who seeks revenge for his brother who was killed during the initial drug deal. Tommy also works for Juan Cortez, an intermediary for the drug deal, who begins to look into the ambush for Tommy. Meanwhile, Cortez has Tommy steal missile technology chips and kill Gonzalez, who had talked about the deal.
Cortez, believing that Ricardo Diaz was responsible for the ambush, asks Tommy to act as protection for Diaz in a deal with the Cubans. The Haitians, enemies of the Cubans, ambush the deal, but are killed by Tommy and Lance. Diaz, seeing potential in Tommy and Lance, hires them to kill gang members who were stealing his money and steal the fastest boat in the city in order to purchase drugs from a dealer on a boat. Lance eventually attempts to kill Diaz for the death of his brother, but is captured by Diaz's men, though he is later freed by Tommy. The two subsequently go on to take revenge, killing Diaz in his own mansion.
The death of Ricardo Diaz brings change to Vice City, allowing Tommy and Lance to step in and continue the crime ring established by Diaz. Tommy, however, begins to look beyond the protection rackets established by Diaz and purchases a number of businesses around the city, most prominently the Malibu Club, the Cherry Popper Ice Cream Factory (a front for a drug running business), InterGlobal Films and the Print Works. After purchasing each business, Tommy helps establish their influence in the city. During this time, Tommy also begins to work for a number of smaller time criminals in the city, including the Cuban leader Umberto Robina and the Haitian leader Auntie Poulet (due to her drugging him), helping both sides attack the other. He also works for Avery Carrington's real estate business, Phil Cassidy's gun running business, Mr. Black's hitman business, Mitch Baker's biker gang, and Kent Paul's management of Love Fist. Tommy also went on to help Juan Cortez escape the city when the GIGN assault his yacht for the missile technology.
Sonny Forelli, growing restless and impatient, sends some of his men to collect some of his money from Tommy's businesses. Tommy kills the collectors, although not in time to save Earnest Kelly, the owner of the Print Works, from being injured. Tommy decides to give Sonny fake money printed at the Print Works. Tommy meets Sonny in person at his estate to give him the counterfeit cash, but Sonny informs him that Lance has sided with him, betraying Tommy. A gun battle ensues, with Tommy killing both Lance and Sonny, who also confirms Tommy's suspicion that he was set up in Harwood. Following the deaths of Lance and Sonny, Tommy and Ken taken over, becoming the most powerful men in Vice City.
Events of San Andreas
Tommy Vercetti doesn't appear in this game, but is mentioned several times by Ken Rosenberg. In 1992, when Ken Rosenberg exits the Fort Carson Medical Center after curing himself from his cocaine addiction, he calls Tommy Vercetti to work together again, but a secretary notifies him that Vercetti is unavailable to respond his calls, much to Ken's frustration, leading him to ask for a job to Salvatore Leone. This is the last time we hear about Tommy in the series, not counting mentions of him from Ken's part later when Ken aids Carl Johnson on his plans to get his brother Sweet out of prison.
Tommy Vercetti's ultimate fate is completely unknown. While it's shown that he forced Ken into rehab to cure himself from his drug addiction, the fact that he later refuses to contact him again implies that Tommy either doesn't want to talk with Ken anymore or may be too involved in legal troubles to have time to talk with him. Regardless this, however, it's highly possible that Tommy may still be alive by the early 2000s, as Kent Paul's 2002 website asks him to not kill them all for avoiding to mention his name, which suggests that Vercetti is not only still alive but still in power as Vice City's kingpin.
During free roam
All of these crimes are non-canonic 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.
- Robbing shops.
- Dealing drugs.
- If the player chooses to work for Mr. Black, he has to murder numerous people, including a woman, a businessman, several robbers planning a heist before they take action, and so on.
- In the mission Mall Shootout, Tommy murdered Pierre La Ponce to retrieve his stolen missile guidance chips.
- In the mission Four Iron, he killed Avery's business rival.
- In the mission Demolition Man, he destroyed a construction base with dynamites and the RC copter, killing several security guards as well.
- In the mission Sir Yes Sir!, he steals a tank during a military convoy under high surveillance. Several military soldiers can be killed in order to get the tank.
- In the mission Shakedown, he destroyed all windows in North Mall.
- In the mission Messing with the man, Tommy is instructed by Mitch Baker to cause chaos in the streets, which Tommy does. The only moment where Tommy crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
- In the mission Trojan Voodoo, Tommy betrayed the Haitians by blowing up the drug factory owned by the Haitians. This results in Auntie Poulet to call Tommy to inform that they are now enemies and the Haitians will now be hostile towards Tommy.
- In the mission Cop Land, he blows up a store in the mall, killing two soldiers.
- In the mission The Cop, Tommy, alongside his crew, robbed El Banco Corrupto Grande bank. Tommy managed to access to the chest, killing several security guards, then defeated the S.W.A.T. agents dispatched.
- As previously mentioned, Tommy Vercetti was based on Tony Montana, the titular protagonist villain of the 1983 film Scarface, which likewise inspired much of the story of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Like Tony, Tommy rose to power in Miami using great amounts of violence, built an empire from a large estate and mansion (Tony built his mansion whereas Tommy claimed Ricardo Diaz's mansion as his own), worked for contract killers and had a tense relationship with his mother. The major difference between Tony and Tommy is that Tony became addicted to his drugs while Tommy didn't and that Tony didn't survive Alejandro Sosa's attack on his residence whereas Tommy survives and succeeds in killing Sonny Forelli.
- However, it's easy to assume that Tommy Vercetti is far worse than Tony Montana, as Tony had a code of honor when killing (refusing to kill women nor children), made attempts to reconcile with his mother and deep inside regretted some of his kills, while Tommy is shown to have no remorse when killing and is sadistic, yet he still retains some morality on his actions (additionally, it's unknown if Tommy would have mercy for children, as children never appear in GTA games).
- However, Tony is worse in the way that he was loyal to no one, while Tommy showed loyalty to Lance Vance and never betrayed him, when Tony betrayed everyone.
- Much like the unnamed protagonists of GTA 1, Claude Speed, Claude of GTA III, Toni Cipriani and the GTA Online Protagonists, Tommy is not interested in women and is not married, although he finds Mercedes Cortez very attractive (and even used her in adult movies). In addition, like nearly every other protagonist, Tommy is able to use services from the female prostitutes throughout the city.
- For many players, Tommy Vercetti is one of the most evil, if not the most evil, Grand Theft Auto protagonist, alongside Claude Speed and Trevor Philips.
- Tommy Vercetti is the first speaking protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto games. He is also one of the two Italian-American protagonists, along with Toni Cipriani. He is also the first protagonist to have a name given, while the previous one were nameless (only Claude's first name is revealed in San Andreas by Catalina).
- He was voiced by Ray Liotta, who also played Henry Hill in the 1990 film Goodfellas.
- Tommy is the tallest 3D era protagonist, standing at 6'4, the same height as Sonny Forelli.