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As it turns out, GTA San Andreas' infamous 'Unknown Guy' isn't just a random dude, he's the perfect everyman

Rich people in the business district, poor people in the slums, Male 01 everywhere.

The Unknown Guy in GTA San Andreas alongside CJ.
Image credit: VG247/Rockstar Games/ulown00b on YouTube

If you’ve played GTA San Andreas, odds are you’ve probably run into a mysterious character with a very sharp haircut and a denim jacket at some point. Even though he’s nameless and can be found living umpteen different placeholder lives, it seems that Rockstar did actually put a fair amount of thought into his creation.

Yes, it’s the same developer who’s recently revealed what was going on behind the scenes to lead to GTA 3 getting a moon that changes shape whenever you shoot it with a sniper rifle and unfortunately dispelled the notion of San Andreas’ mirrors being gateways to the underworld. This time, he’s responded to a fan wondering about San Andreas’ ‘Unknown Guy’.

First of all, if you’re unfamiliar, the ‘Unknown Guy’ is an NPC pedestrian with the moniker “Male 01” in the game’s files. He can potentially be encountered in a huge array of situations and places throughout San Andreas, from being a regular pedestrian walking the streets, to being a possible member or associate of the Ballas gang - even popping up in some mission sequences, specifically during End of the Line. He’s also, according to the GTA Myths wiki at least, the game’s sole train driver.

So, why is he the way he is? Well, as explained by ex-Rockstar technical director Obbe Vermeij, the developers designed him to specifically be not just a thoughtless placeholder, but the perfect everyman who can fit in with any crowd. “The game would load ped models as the player travelled through the city. Rich people in the business district, poor people in slums,” Vermeij revealed in a tweet.

“Sometimes it would happen there was no appropriate model loaded at all,” he continued, “This is why we picked a ’default ped’ that looked ok everywhere in the city and that was always loaded. This model is used everywhere, [including] when there are no models loaded and when there is a bug causing cutscene models not to be loaded.”

So, there you go, not just a random design thrown together on a whim, but a silent super spy with the goal of blending into every unique section of San Andreas society. No wonder he doesn’t seem to react to any of CJ’s provocations.

If you're in the mood for more silent and infamous GTA characters, GTA Online's latest big heist finds a way to rope your protagonist into fighting corruption and inverstigating chicken farms.

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