Grand Theft Auto 3 - The Rhino Tank FAQ
Auteur: Matthew Rorie
Email: see end of document
Date: April 23, 2002
2. What Is The Rhino?
3. Methods of Acquirement
4. Reader Submissions
5. Gameplay Notes
6. Mission Walkthroughs (missions that are easier with the Tank)
7. Miscellaneous Notes Of Interest
9. Misc. Junk
1.5 - Apr. 23, 2002
Grand Theft Auto 3 - The Game That Would Not Die!!!
I noticed today that GTA3 has again reached the #1 spot on the GameFAQs list,
something like six months after its release. It seemed like a good time to
revisit this old document and clean it up for posterity. It's apparent that the
game has some legs, and I figured I might as well make the doc as concise and
usable as possible for all the people that are picking up GTA3 for the first
time, and those that will eventually get it on the PC and any other platforms
it reaches. To that end, I've changed the format a bit, edited and rewritten
portions of the text, and hopefully made the FAQ a little less messy. It was my
first one, after all, so I made a few mistakes I hope to rectify with this
revision. Think of it as "The Rhino Tank FAQ - The Special Edition" if that
I've added a couple of strategies from Ben Madison and Outtatheblue for
peaceful acquisition of the parked tank in Phil The One-Armed Bandit's
hideaway. That's about it in terms of reader submissions for this version; I've
gotten many, many emails since the last time I updated, but I haven't had much
time to read them all, much less answer them. (Chalk it up to a new
40-hour-a-week job, for the most part. My time has also recently been
commandeered by a Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast FAQ.) I apologize to anyone who
sent me email, expecting a reply; I didn't mean to be rude, but the volume of
it was too much for me to handle. :( I appreciate everyone's interest, though,
and hope you're all enjoying the game still. :)
1.4 - Jan. 9, 2002
*Added some info from Jim Philips regarding using the Tank's turret to complete
Rampages. It works, but not on all missions. I put this in the Misc. Notes of
Interest Section, at the top.
*Sorry it's been a while since I last updated. God knows I've been getting
enough mail in the meantime, but MGS2, Diablo 2, and FFX have preoccupied me
for the last couple of months. I'll try to include whatever useful info I have
gotten in the past couple of months in the next update, but it'll be hard
wading through the numerous emails telling me that the tank can go really fast
if you spin the turret around. It was a mistake to give sites carte blanche to
post this, as many of them took the 1.0 version and didn't bother to update it,
so I still get emails with info that's been in here for a while. C'est la vie.
1.3 - Nov. 5, 2001
*I completely forgot an interesting note Kaisharga emailed me about the code to
acquire a Tank. It's pretty interesting, so check it out at the end of the
Gameplay Notes section.
*I'm going back on my word and including two more (and the final) tank
acquisition strategies. Seriously, though, people, this document is a lot
bigger than I ever intended it to be, so no more will be going in. I feel like
a bad guy when I have to tell people I can't include stuff, so...probably
better just not to send them in.
*I've updated the contributors / thanks section so that everyone with a GTA3
website should have a URL next to their name.
*Added a bit on Turismo to the Walkthroughs section. Probably doesn't work, but
*As a note, I should have a review of GTA3 up on Stratosgroup.com sometime
within the next week. You can check out the one I did for Devil May Cry as of
now, but the GTA3 one is still in progress. I liked it more than DMC, I'll say
that much; you can probably guess the kind of score that I'll give it,
considering this whole 50k+ document that I'm not getting paid for.
*As far as I know, this is the final revision of the Tank portion of this
document, unless people email in a bunch of Notes of Interest, which I will
compile and put up as often as I can. This might split off into a seperate
Oddities FAQ or something, if I get enough weird and interesting stuff.
1.2 - Nov. 2, 2001
*Kaisharga was writing a Tank Acquisition FAQ while I was writing mine, but
mine was posted first. I feel bad, because I first agreed to put the documents
together and share credit, and then, after some other things occured to me,
reneged on the offer. So I wanted to apologize to him up here. He offered to
let me use as much of his FAQ as I could fit in, and it obviously was a lot of
work, so I've included most of his strategy for gaining a tank as a rather
large reader submission, and bits and pieces of the rest of the document where
it seemed appropriate. Sorry again, man!
*Added one other new method for gaining a tank.
*Added Miscellaneous Notes of Interest section - not everything in here is
directly relevent to the Tank, but it's simply interesting or obscure info
about the game in general. If anyone has found a neat trick or cool place to do
something unusual, go ahead and send it in.
*Added the very popular trick on using the Crane in the Portland docks to get
as many tanks as you like. This is in the Methods of Acquirement chapter, right
above the reader submissions. Note that you will have to be able to gain a tank
before you can do the crane dealie, so this only helps you to get them with
ease after you have already acquired one.
*Added some new info to the end of the Gameplay Notes section, nothing major,
but interesting nonetheless.
*I added a link to my website above; I figure it's something of a natural place
to pimp it.
*Sean O'Grady pointed out a slight error in my Top Secret! anecdote, and it was
*I changed the Misc. Junk section - I don't think we need any more Tank
acquisition techniques, and in fact, I'd be surprised if there are any out
there that are materially different than the ones I've included here. So you
can send them in, but I won't include them if they're similar to the ones
already here. Sorry!
1.1 - Oct. 31, 2001
*Tidbit on prerequisites for getting to six stars (you have to be able to
travel to Shoreside Vale)
*New reader strategies for acquiring tanks
*Cheat code for acquiring a tank, with no combat necessary
*re-worded some paragraphs
*added contributors/thanks section
*the turret trick for increased speed
*added a bit on destroying tanks (hint: molotovs!)
*added a mini-walkthrough on the final mission of the game, using the tank
1.0 - Oct. 29, 2001
The first draft.
Well, Grand Theft Auto 3 has hit the streets in a very big way. I myself have
been playing it non-stop for the past few days, and can only say that it's one
of the most brilliant games available on the PS2.
Anyway, all small talk aside, this FAQ is intended to be a resource on the
Rhino Tank, the biggest and baddest vehicle in the game world. It won't be the
longest FAQ you'll ever read, but if you have any questions about the tank,
hopefully you'll find them here without having to wade through a longish FAQ or
messageboards. The Rhino can be a bit of a pain to
acquire, and I anticipate that many gamers will have questions as to how to go
about getting one, so that will be the bulk of this document, with a bit of
gameplay analysis and tips for maintenance and care of your tank to round it
out. Enjoy, and hopefully you will email me any comments or suggestions that
WHAT IS THE RHINO?
The Rhino is a treaded tank capable of firing shells from it's main (rotating)
turret. Whereas most vehicles will explode or become dangerously damaged within
a few minutes of a car-jacking, simply from contact with other cars and
buildings, the tank is for most intents and purposes indestructible (but more
about that later). What's more, the tank crushes any car that it comes into
contact with, usually resulting in an immediate explosion. Even small,
incidental contacts with the tank will generally be enough to destroy another
vehicle, reminding this author of the Abrahams/Zucker movie "Top Secret!", in
which a Ford Pinto immediately detonated after it hit a tree at a fraction of a
mile per hour.
Suffice to say, the tank combines potent offensive power with the bulk and
endurace of...well, of a tank. It's the Death Star of Grand Theft Auto 3, and
no player's gaming experience is really complete without one.
SO HOW DO I GET ONE?
Well, I'm going to lay out my technique, but keep in mind that it's easier said
than done. It requires some patience, a bit of practice, and probably a bunch
of reloading, but you should be rolling off in a death machine before too long.
[**Note**]: Check the next section for reader-submitted techniques; at least
one of them is easier than the method I have outlined below. The same
ingredients are necessary, though. There are at least two ways to get a tank
without fighting anyone, and I've included those as well, at the very end of
The essential ingredients:
1: You must have progressed into the game far enough to reach the third island,
Shoreside Vale. Until you reach that island, you will not be able to hit six
stars on the police wanted meter. Check a walkthrough or missions FAQ for
details on which missions you need to complete; there are no fewer than seven
excellent walkthroughs available on GameFAQs for your perusal.
2: You'll need to get yourself outfitted for a fight with the police. Make sure
you have at least a dozen rounds for your Rocket Launcher. (Since this weapon
is a somewhat essential part of the recipe, you'll probably need to wait until
you've completed the Phil the One-Armed Bandit mission given to you on Staunton
Island by Ray Machowski, a.k.a. the guy in the toilet. Phil will sell you
Rocket Launchers at 25,000 bucks a pop after you help him out. Incidentally,
his tank is locked when you first meet him, so don't bother trying.) Also be
sure to have full health and armor, and at least 30 or so grenades (more is
better). Any other weapons are incidental, though you will need something to
attract the cop's attention.
Once you're ready to go, head back to Portland and save your game in the garage
near Luigi's club. Now jack a car and head south. I've successfully managed to
nab a tank both from the roof of the building to the southwest of Luigi's club
(you have to climb up to the roof of Luigi's building and then jump over) and
the building to the south of Mr. Wong's Laundrette (check your map), the one
with a yellow Rockstar Games billboard on top and an Uzi rampage for Triads in
the alleyway. I recommend the latter, as you'll have much greater mobility and
the guardrail around the roof will prevent you from falling off.
(Ed. Note: After further play, I now recommend the roof of a large warehouse in
Shoresdale Vale. To find it, make your way from your garage to the Unique Jump
that takes you over the river to the building at the bottom of the dam. Drive
up the road, and the warehouse will be opposite the intersection you arrive at.
When you're on the roof of this building, start attracting cops to your
location. Do whatever you like; snipe bypassers, chuck molotovs off, etc. The
best technique, and one you'll be using to get the tank, is to walk to the edge
of the building and throw grenades into the street. A single tap on the O
button will get them far enough away so that they can't harm you.
The cops should be nice and riled in short order, if you raise hell like I
enjoy doing. Since you're on the roof, no cops will be able to shoot you
(unless you get real close to the edge), so all you have to worry about are the
helicopters. Once you hear the rotary blades coming, back away from the edge
and switch over to your rocket launcher. Take out helicopters as soon as you
can, or they'll whittle your armor down bit by bit. I believe you're required
to destroy one anyway to get to six police stars, but you'll probably send two
or three down by the time the Army comes out.
At any rate, once you hit five stars, the FBI starts to pull up, and you'll
want to be extra careful about not exposing yourself to their AK-47 fire.
Continue to chuck grenades off the building, and eventually you'll see the
sixth star flashing. If you stay in one position, nothing much happens, so run
around on the roof until you hear the tanks pulling up.
Now here's where it starts getting somewhat dangerous. If you're on the
building south of Wong's Laundrette, the tanks *should* begin to drive into the
little courtyard by the stairs. Once you see them pulling into the courtyard
(you might need to run around a bit to lure them in), stop moving and wait
until you hear the doors pop open. The soldiers have the fully-automatic M-16
rifles (my brother and I just called them Heaters, since they resembled
strongly the ones used by the robbers in the film "Heat"), so be real careful
about exposing yourself. Once they're out of the tank, chuck a few grenades
over, and try to get a good field of fire by rotating a bit in between each
throw. When all the grenades have detonated, peek over the building's edge and
see what's going on below. If the soldiers were killed, you'll see white
circles for their dropped Grenades lying by the Tank. If something moves or
fires, throw a few more grenades down. Once you're relatively sure the tank
isn't moving, and that the soldiers are dead, jump off the building and jack
the tank as quickly as possible.
When you've gotten inside the tank, immediately reverse or accelerate,
whichever the case is, to get out of the courtyard and away from the cops. The
tank moves very slowly, as you'll notice, and the cops or soldiers stand a good
chance of busting you if you can't get away. Once you're on the street, though,
there's really no stopping you. The six-alarm police warning isn't going to go
away anytime soon, so book it! You have to either find a few Police Stars to
reduce your wanted level, or park your tank in one of your garages and
save/reload your game to make your getaway. You *cannot* put the tank in your
garage in Portland, so head back to Staunton via the bridge. (You can take the
tunnel, but it's fairly easy to get busted in there. You can put the tank in
your garage in Shoresdale Vale, but it's a tight squeeze, and Stauton is a more
fun island to run amok on anyway.) Don't waste time shooting stuff up, just get
back to where you can save your game. The enemy tanks will give chase, of
course, but they can't really do much to you except try to block you off and
halt your progress. Avoid them as best as you can. (Don't even try to blow them
up; it'd take much longer than you'd probably think.)
Once you save your game, you'll probably want to immediately re-load it to get
rid of the police warning. Congratulations, you now have your very own
Here are a few methods for acquiring a tank without fighting.
1: Simply finish the game. For those of you who haven't gotten to the end yet,
there is a single ultimate mission that you complete to achieve a credits
sequence. After the sequence is over, you will be standing outside of your
garage in Shoreside Vale, 1,000,000 dollars richer. You can now head back to
Phil's and pick up his tank, which will be waiting for you, unlocked.
2: Use the cheat code: When you're out of a vehicle and standing still, hit:
circle, circle, circle, circle, circle, circle, R1, L2, L1, triangle, circle,
triangle. A tank will pop out of thin air nearby, yours for the taking. I am
unsure of any repurcussions this might have on your stats or game completion,
so caveat emptor. You'll also want to start hitting this code when you're
wielding the baseball bat, as the L2 button will switch you to the fists for
the final circle press. If you start with the fist, you may wind up throwing a
grenade or molotov at your feet.
3: Very rarely, you'll come across a free-range tank parked in the street.
I've only seen this on Staunton, but I'm not sure if it appears anywhere else.
This tank looks the same as the normal Rhino, but it has no doors, and, for
some reason, it is much, much weaker. It can destroy cars in a fashion similar
to the Rhino, but will explode much more quickly, after ten or twelve
collisions. Its turret is perfectly functional, but it is obviously much less
useful than the real deal.
4: Here's the popular crane technique, as sent to me by Jake Dalske.
"Great work on the faq ya posted, but here's something useful that I think you
may want to add. In the Portland docks area, there's another huge ship. By the
colorful cargo containers, there's a crane that's swiveling around, and a
yellow-striped rectangle near the base of it. As time consuming as it may be,
get an emergency vehicle (Police Car, Enforcer, FBI car, Barracks OL,
Ambulance, Firetruck, Tank) to that spot and hop out. The crane will swivel,
lift the car up with an electromagnet and then drop the car off in the ship.
You'll get 1500 bucks. Here's the catch that makes it so worthwhile.... once
you deliver one of every type (they only take one of each)... GTAIII icons will
appear on the ground by the crane. Each one has the name of a vehicle above it.
Touch the icon and you'll have the car personally delivered to you via
crane(just don't stand on the spot or you'll get crushes when the magnet
unceremoniously drops the vehicle) . So you can snag a tank anytime you want
without saving, loading, or felony-ing. Same goes for all the other emergency
vehicles as well."
5: Another odd one, as sent to me by OuttaThaBlue420.
"Go to Phil's army supply place after you have done his mission (Arms Shortage
- i think) and there is a tank by the weapons you can buy. I know it is locked,
but get any car, preferably a sturdy one, and ram the passenger door of the
tank until it falls off. This may destroy your car. After the door falls off
you can get in and drive it!"
6: Last but not least, from Ben Madison.
"what you do is during ARMS SHORTAGE u go to phils place and push the tank
back to your garage, to get it into it u need to park a car under the door
so it won't close. then push the tank in. then go finish the mission come
back and save, when u walk out of the elevator and into the garage TA-DA the
tank is unlocked and u did that without cheating or risk of death. **TAKES
ABOUT 5 MINUTES TO PUSH TANK TO THE HIDEOUT** and don't bother using a car,
just push it by running behind or walking behind it, side note, it is less
tidious if u have the infinite run from getting to level 12 ambulance but u
can just tap X instead if u need to, i really hope u post this"
[Hector Mejia sent in this note. I've tried it and it works extremely well.]
"On staunton island, go to the 5 story parking lot with a rocket launcher,
grenades, and a sniper rifle. Park a car on the 3rd floor,and get on top of it-
or go up to the 5th floor. Start sniping people. when you get a few stars, drop
some grenades down to the ground.. You won't ever see cop cars, but you will
hear them. When choppers show up, shoot them down with the rocket launcher.
when you get 6 stars, go to the first floor and leave. Take an immediate right,
then another right down the alley, towards the pay and spray and 8ball's
garage. Wait until you see tanks show up.Go into the pay and spray, and it will
remove your stars.Then walk up to a tank, and jack it. Two army guys will get
out. You need to kill them, and steal the tank. Drive to your hideout, which is
only two blocks away."
[Ed. Note: If you wait until the army guys get out of their tank before you
spray your car, they will sometimes disappear after you exit the garage,
leaving their tank free for the taking. Overall, this is probably the easiest
way to get a tank, other than simply completing a game and picking up one at
[Blank sent in a similar technique.]
"the easiest way i have found is to go to staunton island and get to the
parking garage. attract the cops attention up to like 3 stars, then go in the
garage and up to the top. you can hide on the next to the last upper level and
just keep peeking around the last ramp with the rocket launcher and shoot each
chopper that appears until you hit 6 stars. then blast outta the garage wide
open and around the corner to the paint shop but leave the car parked outside
and hide inside. peek out of the garage and shoot the copters down, then run
and jump on the ledge and there will be tanks below you. just stand there and
the soldiers will get outta the tanks, i find it easiest to snipe them and then
hop in a tank, drive it up the ledge to the car you left parked at the spray
shop, then drive inside and the car is painted and the cops are gone. then hop
in your tank and drive it over to your garage and save the game.
easiest to do if you have the bulletproof patriot (humvee). you can just drive
back and forth in front of the spray and bomb shop and watch the tanks come,
even use it for cover to shoot down the police helicopters and then look over
the ledge and snipe the troops and then take a tank."
[Another one from Jared Bruce.]
"in stauton island there is a parking garage, and i beat the army surplus
mission from ray so i got some rocket launchers, sniper rifles, etc, and headed
to the top. i spent the first 3 stars up top, chucking grenades down and
sniping, and when the choppers flew in i toasted them. eventually i got low on
rounds so i headed to the second level. using a blista i go high enough to
snipe out of and be able to see the cops (they couldnt go in because of the
roadblocks). i shot them and the FBI agents till i got 6 (about 100 sniper
rounds and 12 grenades). i saw a tank pull up, got in a banshee, sped out
(making sure i didnt destroy the blockades in) and stopped, waited for the
soldiers to hop out, and high tailed it back in. the soldiers tried to run in,
but couldnt make it past the block, so i got back and shot them all. (they
shoot m-16's, and yes they were the "heaters" in heat).
[An interesting one from Mike Eiseman.]
"First off as you stated in your faqs, you have to have a bunch of rocket
rounds, and have to have unlocked the third island. You go to the casino in
staunton island, the one you got jobs from earlier ( forgot the guys name
[Kenji - Ed.]). you take the stairs up to the roof where the parked chopper is
at and start causing trouble. there is many people who walk the sidewalks below
and a few traffic lights to halt traffic right in front of you for some real
fun. the only problem is that you cant shoot down with much accuracy at cops,
as they crowd the wall, and the roof is 3 stories up. However, cops will never
shoot at you, ever. you just destroy the choppers that come by and keep
killing. when the army comes you can run down the first flight of steps and
jump off the back of the balcony landing in the rear parking lot, or to lose
less health there is a slanted part of the ledge off to the left on the roof
that you can jump onto and slide down to the parking lot. either way you get
down and are now on the opposite side of the casino, and only army will be
there .... then it gets hard, you have to run up to a tank and when the first
guy pops out jump him and shotgun to the face. basically the smash and grab
[Here's the big one from Kaisharga.]
"Go to the Pay 'n' Spray, located practically across the street from your
hideout [on Staunton Island]. Park your vehicle directly in front of the P&S
garage, and it helps to have it facing as though you were just about to drive
in there, because you just might have to get in there quick. I'm sure you can
probably see where this is going by now, but I'll continue.
Walk outside and start making some bloody messes. I generally use the exit
that's nearest the hideout, as that area is the most conspicuous and cop-
watched. For once, this is a good thing. Just start shooting/batting/whatever,
until you get at least one police wanted level. Be VERY careful at this point,
as a beat cop can walk right up to you, knock you on the ground, and bust you.
Keep shooting around, perhaps retracting a little bit into the alley, until you
get two stars. Now you can start the real fun.
Run back into the alley on your way to the Pay'n'Spray, and make sure that any
cop cars that dare to follow you get gunned down--either take out the cops with
an Uzi or somesuch, or blast the car with a rocket launcher (just make sure
that you're far enough away to not get blasted yourself!). Work your way up the
ramp to the Pay'n'Spray, and camp on the upper walkway, where you can see all
the way down the alley from which you just came. Prep your rocket launcher at
this point, and gun down anything police-related that comes into view down
there. Hopefully it won't take too long for you to get that third wanted
level--now the fun begins. I'll warn you, this part is known to cause power
trips and seizures in lab monkeys.
Once you have your third wanted level, they will start sending helicopters out
to get you. Keep your bazooka ready and aimed with the R1 key, and sweep the
skies in your view constantly for helicopters when you hear them coming. You
don't want to give these guys any more openings than you have to. Once you got
them in view, you know what to do. Click, click, boom. Note that the propellers
will also work for targeting, and will still cause the helicopter to go down.
Take your time to revel in the sight, as you've likely blown up your first
chopper. Congratulations, I know it practically brought a tear to my eye.
("It's so beautiful, man..." *sniff*)
This should give you a fourth star, but this is no big deal. Keep blasting the
choppers until you've got a fifth, and then you need to start watching the
streets again. FBI cars go fast, and sometimes actually navigate the ways into
the alley, so blast them if you see them around. Be careful you don't
accidentally shoot the railing, because after that, you gotta reload the save
file that I told you to make earlier. You DID make that savegame, didn't you?
A note about the chopper-shooting--these guys can still fire at you even after
they're hit, so watch yourself. Also, trust your ears more than your eyes for
sighting these guys--if you hear one, but you can't find 'em with your aim-
searching, they're probably directly overhead--move around a bit, stand back
from the blast radius, and let 'em have it. Hopefully they won't crash into
your car, because that would be BAD.
After you've downed about four choppers, and maybe some FBI goons on the side,
you should reach the glorious(?) level of Six Stars of Wantedness. They want
you bad, and they're sending tanks to get you. Also of note are the Barracks OL
vehicles, but if you're really that interested in these things you can jack
your own, free of charge and hassle, back at Ray's Buddy's Shop.
For now, listen for more choppers stalking you, and continue bringing them down
until you hear a Tank coming by. What do you listen for? Well, honestly, I
can't say, except that when they've moved into the alleyway, they tend to hit
the walls--a lot. When you hear repeated wall-collisions, it's a safe bet that
a tank isn't far. You may need to give them a little time to come in, because
you don't want these buggers escaping once you've gone to all this trouble and
expense. Feel free to watch them come in, as, in my experience, they never use
their cannons of uber-death on you. I can't recommend leaving the whole ramp-
and-catwalk thing, though, but hey, it's your game.
Once a tank is firmly planted in the vicinity, switch away from your rocket
launcher (don't want that thing going off unplanned), preferably to fists
and/or bat, and get in your vehicle. Pull into the P&S, where you will lose
your wanted level. Now get down to where the tank should still be.
But don't celebrate yet--it's still dangerous. Check the area to make sure
there are no FBI or police cars also stuck, because when you 'jack the tank,
you want as little interference as possible. Also make sure this tank is the
only one around, because the tanks' pilots will have no regrets about putting
several pounds of lead into your system.
With that in mind, equip your bat, get ready to whoop some army booty, and open
the tank door on the side. Two army men should get out, one from each side if
possible, and try to fill you with holes, as they are equipped with machine
guns. No, not those weenie Uzis, these are the big nasty ones that the Cartel
guys are fond of. To make sure you don't get blasted, hit 'em hard and fast
with the Bat, and make sure they're dead. They drop a load of good stuff too--I
remember grenades, the machine guns, and a couple other things falling out, but
the Tank is way better than any of that.
Congratulations, you've got yourself a Rhino. Have fun, drive around the
streets, and for some great fun, do the Vigilante missions in your new set of
wheels. Note that, like the fire truck, the turret can be rotated with the
right stick, which is handy for nuking people behind you, or to your side when
you're having trouble turning."
[Here's one from Hiji]
There's a really easy way to get the tank in stuanton island. There is a
building not far from your hideout on the island that has 2 windows on one
side, and three on the other, as well as a second story, accessable via a
stairway inside. The floor is solid and one side faces a t-intersection. go up
stairs with a few grenades, maybe a rocket launcher, and blow stuff up until
you see a tank come down the street. Once the tanks show up, just start tossing
grenades off the side to take out the army guys. Peek over the edge to scope
out how many survived, if nothing shoots at you, hop down and yoink a tank.
[Here's one from Max Carlaftes]
First, get two or three big cars. Park each one in
fornt of the alley that leads into your Staunton
Island garage. Make sure there is no way in unless you
jump on the cars. Since the cops can't jump, you'll be
safe in there. Keep the cars from blowing up and stand
on one of the hoods and shoot pedestrians. This should
alert the cops. Begin taking the cops out and move
back into your alley a bit. At 3 stars they will begin
ramming your blockade. This is where the rocket
launcher comes in. Shoot your cars blocking the
entrance and this should get rid of a ton of cops.
Helicopters can't get in to the alley to easily and if
they do they should be easy shots. Continue blasting
any cars or people that come down the alley and soon
the army should come after you. When a tank gets into
view, killing anyone near it and grab it. Put it in
your garage as fast as you can. Save the game and
reload. Volia! No cops, army or FBI and you have a
[One from Levi Young]
There is actually a much better place to grab a tank. On Staunton, about a
block from our hideout is a computer store. This is a building with the same
breakable glass as the auto store in Portland. It has the advantage of a roof
to eliminate the helicopter threat, while still giving you easy grenade access
to cops and FBI outside. Also, when you get the tank, the pay n' spray is
about a block away to the north. You can drive there, grab a car parked
nearby, and drive it in to get rid of all six stars. This pay n' spray is also
down an alley which speeding law enforcement vehicles have trouble getting
down. This way, with no helicopters, is much easier than the parking garage or
[The very last, final one from Max du Jardin]
Get to your place in Shoreside Vale ( your saving point, that is ), the big
building. You should be equipped with about 6 rockets, and with enough round of
uzi/AK47 to take out lots of people. All other weapons are optional. Oh, and
you should have a police bribe at your hideout ( kill ten criminals while being
in vigilante mode to get it ). And having your Staunton island garage empty
might be a good idea if you are not a good driver...
Now, get out on the street and start flaming/batting/capping people until you
have a wanted level of three. Now head back to your saving point. Do not enter
the building, but stay close. Staying close to the building is the key here :
cops will not run up to you unless you move from that position. Only a few
stray cops - the ones that appear on the streets randomly - will ever get close
to you. When/if that happens, cap them. When the first chopper arrives, shoot
it down with a rocket. You now have a wanted level of four. You see your
garage? Stand in front of it, on the white part. Cops should start driving up
to you. Just let them arrive, turn around, and kill them until you get a wanted
level of five. Now get back to the proximity of the building. Two choppers
should arrive... You know the drill. Take them out, and you now have a wanted
level of six!
This means the army is coming to get you. Now, stand in front of your garage as
I said before. It might be necessary to get a bit closer to the street this
time. Tanks and barracks OL should start driving up to you. Be sure to kill the
soldiers very quickly when they get out. If you ever feel too overwhelmed, get
behind the garages that do not open, and the enemies should disappear. If they
do not, you can at least pick them out one at a time. Anyway, a tank should
drive up to you. Stand close to it, weapons ready. When the soldiers get out,
ice 'em. Now get in your tank. You are very close to your garage, and you know
what to do.
If you are unable to park your tank in it ( it is a very close shave ), just
get your police bribe, and decrease the wanted level to five. Then go down,
near the payphone where you get your missions. There is another bribe. Get it.
You are down to four. If you know the location of any other bribes nearby, get
them. Oh, and DO NOT shoot your cannon at incoming vehicles. You wouldn't want
to get your stars back, now, wouldn't you? Now, just drive around carefully.
Even though you are nigh invulnerable, you can get blown up by repeated
assaults. Or you can be overturned.
Now just get your wanted level down to one. Or you can drive back to staunton
island, park your tank, save and reload. Since I don't know lots of bribes, I
just drove around my three saving places, picked up the bribes there and
another one ( the one in the alley in Portland ), and then laid low until my
last star disappeared. Another way - time consuming and risky - would be to
hang around the initial place where you pick up the tank, and wait for the
bribe to respawn... But you should be wary of choppers.
[Ed. Note - I got a few more methods that were similar to these, so I won't
include them all. Thanks to the many people who emailed me info, and hopefully
I remembered to thank you all below.]
The tank is probably the slowest vehicle in the game (at least, before you use
the rotating turret to speed it up), and one of the least maneuverable. That
said, it can still go at a pretty good clip on level ground or downhill, and
the emergency brakes are functional enough to enable sufficient steering
through corners. When you're on a straightaway, though, you won't be able to
react quickly enough to get around tightly packed commuter cars. Instead, go
through them. Explosions don't rock the tank off of your course as much as they
do other vehicles, so you should be able to maintain your line by simply
flooring it through any cars that are in your way.
The turret can be rotated using the right analog stick and fired with the O
button. It's a bit tricky to actually rotate it while you're driving, so the
best bet is to just keep it pointed straight ahead and point your tank in the
direction you want to fire. You can also aim it behind your tank and pop off a
few rounds when you hear sirens approaching. Anything you hit with a round will
blow up right away, and any cars near an explosion will likely catch on fire.
The shells have a limited range, however, and will explode in the air if you
fire them at something too far away. This range is decreased, at least for
forward-firing shells, if you are moving forward. Lastly, firing does reduce
your speed a bit, so firing off shells while you're going uphill is not
recommended. This generally slows you down enough to make a cop bust a surety.
The exception to this rule: If you fire the turret when it's facing backwards,
the recoil will actually add to your speed. You can use this to make the tank
move quite quickly, but the uncontrolled firing will likely raise your wanted
level a few marks by the time you get where you're headed.
The tank is many times more durable than any other car in the game, but it is
not indestructible. Like anything else, if you flip it over, it will catch fire
and blow up, and if you take a long walk on a short pier and land in the water,
you'll drown quickly. (Interesting that the tank actually floats, and can fire
off rounds while in the water.) Lastly, attrition will slowly eat away at your
tank's stamina, and it *will* blow up when enough cars ram into it. (My rough
count was around 200 exploded cars before this happened.) This isn't something
you'll have to worry too much about if you're just running along on a mission
or something, but if you're raising hell, you can expect a sudden end
to your game after ten or fifteen minutes. The danger ramps up slightly once
you get to five stars, and the FBI gets called out. While highly amusing, the
lemming-like parade of FBI cars ramming into your vehicle will reduce its life
expectancy drastically, so you'll want to go from five to six stars rather
quickly. (The enemy tanks don't come in high enough quantities to damage you
that much, and thankfully they do not fire their turrets.)
Aside from actually destroying the tank, you can get jacked or busted fairly
easily, since the tank moves fairly slowly. Going from acceleration to reverse
and vice-versa is pretty dangerous when there are hostiles around, and the
aforementioned slow-down from the turret fire is something to take note of,
especially on inclines.
You can still pull off drive-bys in the Rhino, but pressing the O button will
fire off a shell at the same time as you begin firing your Uzi. If you want to
avoid this, simply rotate your turret to the left or right for the mother of
all drive-bys. :) Talk about improving your street cred...
There is no radio in the tank, sadly.
One thing I forgot to mention is that the warning signs of imminent destruction
for the Tank are very subtle and hard to read. It does start to smoke, but the
smoke is easily missed in the dark texture of the tank, especially from the
higher-up viewpoints. It will catch on fire, as well, but I've noticed that it
goes from seemingly undamaged to destroyed much too quickly to actually give
you time to exit the vehicle, especially when you're in the thick of an FBI
Mike Eiseman and Jared Bruce point out that if you rotate the turret of a tank
around so that it is pointing backwards, you can repeatedly fire the turret to
gain speed (as noted above). This works well for increasing the top speed of
the tank, and if you find yourself poised precariously on a ledge or near
water, you can use the turret's recoil to give you an extra boost of speed to
hopefully get out of the situation.
lenankamp points out that Molotov Cocktails work wonders on tanks. Three or
four direct hits will usually result in an explosion. About ten seconds of
Flamethrower will also destroy them effectively, but good luck standing still
that long when the Army's after you.
Flamehead points out that if you wish to remain stationary while firing off
rounds, you'll need to hold down the emergency brake, or else the recoil will
send you hurtling backwards. Of course, if you stand still, you'll get busted
by the cops. :)
Maurizio Ballabeni, and a few others, have let me know how effective the Rhino
is in pursuing criminals in Vigilante mode. It's definitely the best vehicle
for this mini-game, since it's indestructible and you can simply run over your
targets. You may wish to use the rotating turret dealie to speed the tank up,
though. Personally, I find that the mini-games are easiest in Portland, simply
because it's a fairly consolidated town and getting from target to target
doesn't take much time, but the Secrets FAQ by Kyle Jackson will let you know
the rewards for doing the missions in all three places.
Here's Kaisharga's note on the implications of the Tank Code:
"I also found an interesting ramification of the Tank code...
It simply 'creates' the tank, rather than any other process, and it considers
it a User vehicle, meaning it doesn't go away when it gets out of your field of
vision. And the game is programmed in such a way that it saves memory by only
having a maximum of X amount of vehicles in memory at a time. So, if you summon
like 8 tanks, and walk around, it's almost guaranteed that the streets will be
totally devoid of other cars as you go. Of course, cars that are always parked
somewhere will still be there, but nonetheless it makes some missions a whole
boatload easier. On the other hand, it gives those Triads and Colombians a
clearer shot at you...which is why i STILL can't finish Big'n'Veiny."
Given that my job at the Stratosgroup (www.stratosgroup.com) is generally to
write walkthroughs for whatever project I'm working on, it'd be natural for me
to try and work some in to this document. :) There are, of course, spoilers
ahead, so don't read this section if you haven't FULLY COMPLETED the game, as I
will be describing the last mission in some detail.
I only acquired my tank at the very end of the game, shortly before I completed
the final few missions, so I'm not sure of any other missions it might be
usable for. I'm playing through the game again, so I will hopefully add a few
more tank-oriented walkthroughs in the future.
The Escort: Given by Donald Love
This is a fairly tough mission in any type of vehicle. Love's "oriental friend"
will be driving a van through the Porter Tunnel to Shoresdale Island, with the
eventual destination of a garage in Pike's Creek. Cartel Cruisers will be
attempting to smash his car off the road, and street soldiers for the Cartel
will be shooting at his vehicle. In all honesty, the bullet fire is more
damaging than anything the Cruisers do, but there's not a whole lot you can do
about the street warriors, unless you're willing to risk turret fire. What I
did to beat this mission was to simply keep the van in front of me, giving it a
certain cushion (make sure you don't hit it!), and veering into the Cruisers
when they attempted to pass. They generally come from behind you, so you can at
least protect the van from one kind of threat. The van's AI starts to get real
stupid-like once it reaches it's destination, so you might have to get out and
shoot any of the soldiers still on the street. In my case, the van started to
rub up against the walls near the garage it was heading for, and only managed
to reach it after about five (anxious) minutes of scraping. It did get there
eventually though, and it's worth pointing out that it cannot damage itself, as
far as I can tell.
The Exchange: Final Mission of the Game
Wowzer. You know, the first game I ever did walkthroughs for was Syndicate
Wars, and this mission reminds me of some of the final missions in that game,
in that it requires quite a bit of precision if you want to succeed. I'm sure
anyone who has tried it followed the helicopter in a Cartel Cruiser and has
been completely destroyed; I certainly was. Using the Rhino will make your task
quite a bit easier, as it's completely bulletproof and will be able to easily
kill any of the Cartel soldiers within range of the cannon.
First off, make sure your Tank is in your garage in Shoresdale Vale and safely
tucked away. Once you've saved your game, jack a car and run up the hill,
towards the "C" on your minimap. Once you get near the Cartel mansion, you'll
spot the blue circle. Walk into it and a cutscene will begin. (Incidentally,
you can go through this gate in a jacked Cartel Cruiser before or after the
mission to pick up another Hidden Package behind the mansion.)
After the cutscene is over, grab the gun ahead of you and run to your right.
Get into one of the Cartel Cruisers and head towards the gate. You might need
to run over the soldier to the left of the gate, or he'll pull you out. Once
you're through the gate, take a right and start heading up the street. You'll
see the helicopter fly over, and a message telling you to follow it. If you've
played the mission through once, you'll know where it's headed: Cochrane Dam.
Head up the street towards Cochrane Dam, and drive back down the twisty hill.
(If you have armor available at your base, you can attempt to jump down the
hill, avoiding the turns, or simply drive your car off of it. Either way, there
will be plenty of time to complete your mission.) Once you reach your base,
pick up whatever weaponry you have available and get into your tank. When
you're inside, wheel it out of your garage and down the hill across the
entrance to your hideout. Once you're on the street below, wheel it around to
head north and get going. This road will take you to the Cochrane Dam facility.
Cartel Cruisers block the entrance, but you can either bowl them over or fire
your turret at them to bust through. The Columbians here carry AK-47's, so you
might want to pick them up if you didn't have one at your base. Head down the
hill, stopping to pick up the sniper rifle if you wish, and use your turret to
destroy another pair of Cruisers, along with the Columbians in the area.
Now you're in the thick of things. There are quite a few Columbians in the
area, armed with AK-47's, M-16's, and there's even one with a Flamethrower.
It's one of those situations where there are an infinite number of enemies: no
matter how many you kill, more will appear when you turn your back. Needless to
say, you're going to want to stay in your tank for as long as possible. Make
your way through the rubble, and eventually a short cutscene will pop in,
showing Conchita heading into the chopper. Destroy the troop carriers near the
elevated area where she was, and get your tank as close to the stairs as
possible, but make sure you have something of a path back to the entrance.
Here's where it gets tricky. You hopefully have a full 2 or 3 minutes left.
There is a Rocket Launcher on the makeshift helicopter platform, guarded by
Columbians wielding AK-47's and one with a Flamethrower. Once you run up the
stairs, you can attempt to take them out, or simply run towards the Rocket
Launcher, dodging their fire. Once you have it, run back to the edge of the
platform and jump down to where your Rhino is. Get in quickly; if a Columbian
jacks you, get up, shoot him, and get back in. Once you're in, head back to the
entrance to this area, preferably all the way back to the area where you
smashed up the first two Cartel Cruisers. Once you're clear of the Columbians,
get out of the tank and wait for the helicopter to come around again. It drops
some kind of explosive, but you should be in the clear where you are. Peg it
with a Rocket, and when it goes down, the timer will vanish.
Now, you have to run the same Columbian gauntlet over again, but it will be a
bit easier because you don't have to worry about coming back. If you're health
is low, you might wish to head back to your base to pick up another suit of
armor. Once you're set, head back to the helicopter platform, run up the
stairs, and head towards Maria. Once you get near her, the credits start to
When you come back after the credits, you'll find yourself a million dollars
richer, but all your ammo is still missing, and your tank as well. You can get
ammo in all the usual places, and you'll find a parked tank at Phil's place in
NOTES OF INTEREST
Big thanks to Jim Phillips for this info. I will try to confirm some of the
rest of these, since I didn't play through many of the Rampages the first time
I went through the game.
"I was having trouble with the Uzi rampage in Portland. After several attempts,
I decided to jack cars and try to beat the rampage by drive-by. It was working
better but my cars kept getting totaled before I reached the goal. I was
getting annoyed so for the heck of it I got a Rhino from my Portland crane. I
figured that with its armor I should at least be able to survive the mission.
When I did a drive-by, instead of my kill count going down by one, it went down
by four. I realized that the game counted the kills from the tank's main gun as
well. The mission was a piece of cake after that. My guess was that since the
Uzi was still listed as my weapon while I was in the car, the game assumed all
weapon kills were Uzi kills. I confirmed this with the Uzi rampage in Shoreside
Later, I was experiencing considerable difficulty with the flame-thrower
rampage in Shoreside Vale. Again in frustration, I eventually went to my tank
to see if the glitch applied to more than the Uzi. It worked!
Finally, I have one rampage to go: the M-16 beheader one in Shoreside. I just
can't get it! (I've come as close as "one" twice.) This time, taking out the
Rhino didn't work. Therefore, it would appear that:
Rhino gun kills will count in all rampages except for headshot missions.
The following is a list of what will and will not work, both confirmed and
Rhino gun kills counted in rampages - Confirmed:
Portland: Uzi against Triads
Shoreside Vale: Flame-thrower against Cartel
Shoreside Vale: Uzi drive-by against vehicles
Shoreside Vale: Shotgun against Southside Hoods
Rhino gun kills counted in rampages - Unconfirmed:
Portland: M-16 against Diablos
Portland: Grenades against vehicles
Portland: Rocket launcher against vehicles
Portland: AK-47 against Mafia
Portland: Shotgun against Triads
Staunton Island: Rocket launcher against Yardies
Staunton Island : Grenades against Yardies
Staunton Island : Flame-thrower against Yakuza
Staunton Island : Shotgun against vehicles
Staunton Island : Molotovs against Yakuza
Staunton Island : M-16 against vehicles
Shoreside Vale: Rocket launcher against vehicles
Shoreside Vale: Hit-and-runs against Cartel
Rhino gun kills not counted in rampages:
Staunton Island : Sniper rifle against Yardies
Shoreside Vale: Sniper rifle against Cartel
Shoreside Vale: M-16 against Southside hoods"
The Hooker Trick, from Kaisharga
"This is kinda funny, if a rather nasty prospect. Grab yourself a car--not a
police car, not a van, not a taxi--and drive up to a slutty-looking pedestrian.
Usually they wear short skirts. The hooker in question should walk up to your
door, and bend over, 'negotiating the terms' with you. After a few little
conversational bits, she hops in the car, and the meter's running as they say.
Your money will steadily go down until you finish this bit, but it's only about
$1/second, so it's not that big a deal unless you give her the grand tour.
Drive around until you find some big, grassy patch--in Portland, the areas near
the Mafia HQ and the crusher each work quite nicely, and you can probably get
by with the Billboard area on the side of the Stadium--and park here, and wait.
....Yeah, it's kind of nasty, but when she's finished with you (or vice versa?)
she hops out of the car, and takes one last (small) fee from you. Note that
your health went up with each jerk of the car, and you can get up to a whopping
125 health this way, which can help a lot. (Be advised that if you hijack an
ambulance while your health is over 100, it will drop back down to 100, as
ambulances restore 20 health when you get in, to a max of 100, and this resets
your maximum health value. Sucks, don't it?)"
The Flamethrower, from Kaisharga
"Looking for more fun ways to get the cops on you? Try The Flamethrower(tm)! In
all the GTA games, the flamethrower has been (at least to me) the most
entertaining, sadistic weapon around, and GTA3 is certainly no exception. There
are a few ways to get this, some are more difficult than others, but I'll only
go over the easiest, simplest, quickest way. I'll let you figure out how to
ride your car onto the train tracks your own way. Get to Portland, and go to
the train station near the Fire Station (it's point 15 on the map that comes
with the game). Take those stairs up to the train loading dock, and if there's
a train there, wait until it leaves. Get on the tracks themselves, on foot, and
run down the median for about 20 seconds, until the tracks go by a building
with a blue roof. On one of the brown raised platforms on the roof, there is a
weapon, glowing purple--this is what we're looking for. Doublecheck to make
sure that there's no train about to run you over, and jump (you don't even have
to do a sprinting jump) onto said brown platform, and claim your flamethrower.
I'll let you find your own creative uses for this fun toy."
[--Notes on Stunts and Jumping--]
Making big-ass jumps in cars has always been a cool thing to do in video games
- my favorite arcade game of all time is San Francisco Rush 2049. There are
obviously quite a few places to get serious air in GTA3, but I had a hard time
getting beyond a simple Perfect Unique Stunt. The trick is not only to get air,
but also to flip your car over and spin it around in midair. The more flips you
do, and the more the car spins, the better your final rating will be, and the
more cash you will get for the stunt. Here's the different ratings as far as I
can divine them, from worst to best:
Perfect Unique Stunt
Double Unique Stunt
Perfect Double Unique Stunt
Triple Unique Stunt
Perfect Triple Unique Stunt
The difference between a Perfect and a non-Perfect stunt is whether you land
correctly or not: land on your wheels, it'll be Perfect, land on your hood, it
will be a regular stunt. My best stunt thus far has been around 100 feet in
distance, with two flips and 834 degrees of rotation. You can obviously get
longer distances in many places, but getting that much rotation is fairly
difficult. My top mark for rotation was 1100+, but this happens once in a blue
The best place to do these super-stunts, as far as I've been able to find, is
the road that runs near Kenji's Casino and the Police Station in Staunton. It's
the one with raised medians with many trees. All you need to do is steal a car
(there are plenty of Yakuza Stingers in the area, which work well), get up to
speed, and then hit the mini-ramp on the end of a median, aiming for the *side*
of the tree. If done properly, you will fly to the left or right of the tree,
flipping and spinning like a madman. A Perfect Triple Insane Stunt can net you
over 3,000 bucks, so it's not a bad way to earn money, either.
The TJ Hooker Technique
You know how you can jump on stationary cars? Well, you can also jump on moving
cars, or cars that are stopped at a stop light. You can also just stand in the
street, wait for a car to stop, jump on its hood, then wait for it to take off,
creating a kind of valet service. It's not hard to stay on board, as long as
you don't get moving too fast, but on some cars you seem to almost slide off
for some reason, so choose wisely. I particularly enjoy getting on a Stinger or
other fast car and sniping people with the M-16; it brings back fond memories
of rail shooters like Virtua Cop. If the cops come, and come they will, you can
fire a few rounds at the vehicle you're on to see if the driver will panic and
take off, hopefully bringing you with it. This is good for a laugh, if nothing
else; most vehicles drive too slowly to really afford you any kind of lasting
entertainment value. One really fun thing to do, however, is to head down into
a gang territory, such as the Yakuza turf near Kenji's casino, and jump on a
gang car at a stop light, and then shoot another gang car nearby. If the
conditions are right, the car you're standing on will attempt to run you down,
as they do when you carjack a gang car, but you'll be on top of them, so there
won't be much they can do except race around. Once, I managed to stay on top of
a car long enough for it to get damaged enough to catch on fire, when I of
course jumped off. To my surprise, the Yakuza inside didn't bail as most AI
characters would; instead, he followed me in the flaming car and it exploded
near enough to me to kill me as well. Fun!
Acknowledgements / Thanks
A lot of people sent me email after the FAQ went up, so I'd like to thank them
here. I believe I credited people with their contributions as they appeared in
the main body of this text, so I apologize if I used something that you emailed
me. If your name isn't in here, it's probably because you emailed me after I
uploaded this version and before it was posted.
In no particular order:
Will Gilles (http://www.gta3g.com)
Max du Jardin
Phil Hancox (www.geocities.com/p2muk)
I'm no longer updating this FAQ, unless there's something EARTH-SHATTERING that
comes along in the future. So, please don't send me your tank acquisition
techniques: I don't have time to put them in here, and I probably won't be able
to answer your email, which always makes me feel bad. (I get a LOT of email.)
If, on the other hand, you wish to send me money, or propose marriage, or say
you enjoyed the document, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
This document copyright 2002 Matthew Rorie.