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Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Ballad of Gay Tony logo.png
Developer(s) Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive (retail)
Xbox Live Marketplace
Series Grand Theft Auto
Engine RAGE
Euphoria (motion engine)[1]
Native resolution 720p
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) 29 October 2009[2]
Genre(s) Sandbox, third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
Media Download, DVD DL
System requirements Download,
Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360, an internet connection, Xbox Live account and Hard Drive with 1.87GB free space.
Input methods Gamepad

Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second of the two episodic expansion packs for the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar North and released on 29 October 2009.[2] It is the fourth expansion pack in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the fourteenth release overall.

The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the exploits of a new protagonist, Luis Fernando Lopez, a member of the Dominican drug dealers and the personal bodyguard of Anthony "Gay Tony" Prince. Rockstar Games claim in their press release that this episode "injects Liberty City with an overdose of guns, glitz, and grime" and that "players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price." [3]

A combined standalone disc-based package titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, which does not require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game to be played, was released alongside the second expansion and contains both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.[4] [5]



The Ballad of Gay Tony includes the ability to replay previously passed missions with scoring similar to the Hitman series and Manhunt. This feature was previously introduced to the series in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Additions to the game's inventory include new weapons and "sticky bombs", additional high-end sports cars, including the return of the "Bullet" seen in previous games, and new aircraft, including a small attack helicopter called the Buzzard, a heavy-lift helicopter and a Swift. In addition, the parachute found in San Andreas returns, allowing players to participate in BASE jumping and skydiving challenges.

The game also introduces a new driving range activity, as well as the ability to visit Tony's two nightclubs; where they can participate in drinking and dancing-based minigames, as well as manage the club's security. Players are also able to enter an underground fighting tournament, as well as spectate and bet on fights.

In multiplayer, free mode, deathmatch, team deathmatch, race and GTA Race modes were updated, and a "BASE jumping tips" (multiplayer competition) mode was introduced, as a variation of free mode.[6]


The Ballad of Gay Tony opens with Luis Fernando Lopez being held hostage at the Bank of Liberty, during a robbery involving Niko Bellic, Packie and Derrick McReary and Michael Keane. A local gun club member lying next to him, Eugene Reaper, shoots and kills Keane and is then killed by the McReary brothers in retaliation. The scene cuts to the aftermath of the robbery; Luis is questioned by the police about the incident before proceeding to "Gay Tony" Prince's loft. On the way he is nearly run over by Niko Bellic (returning from the robbery) and Johnny Klebbitz who drives past him. Rocco Pelosi, a senior Ancelotti mobster, and his accomplice Vince enter the loft and collect Tony's club income for the week as interest repayment on an outstanding loan. Tony then discusses with Luis his dire financial situation with his two clubs, Maisonette 9 and Hercules. In an attempt to curry favor with Rocco, Tony and Luis go to Chinatown to negotiate a deal with a senior Triad. Billy Grey, president of The Lost Motorcycle Gang is seen arranging an ambush on Johnny Klebitz and Jim Fitzgerald with the Triad as Tony and Luis enter the room. The negotiations with the Triad soon turn awry, and Luis protects Tony as they escape Chinatown.

Luis visits his mother, who also has financial issues, and his childhood friends Henrique Bardas and Armando Torres. Luis' mother does not approve of his lifestyle, and would like him to attend college. Henrique and Armando are Luis' friends who are heavily involved with the narcotics distribution trade. Luis soon becomes acquainted with Yusuf Amir, a real estate developer in Liberty City. Luis helps Yusuf acquire several vehicles, including an experimental military grade chopper called the "Buzzard", an APC used by the National Office Of Security Enforcement, and even a subway carriage.

Meanwhile, Tony is headed in a downward spiral due to substance abuse, supplied by his boyfriend Evan Moss. Luis, Tony and Evan head to the docks to buy two million dollars worth of diamonds from a chef coming in on a tanker called the "Platypus". During the exchange, members of the The Lost (led by Johnny Klebitz) attack and kill Evan and acquire the diamonds. Tony promises Luis that he will quit the substance abuse and introduces Luis to Mori Kibbutz, and his younger brother Brucie. Mori is highly egotistical and constantly bullies and belittles Brucie, a source of irritation to Luis who repeatedly stands up for the younger brother. Luis eventually manages to effectively cancel Tony's debt to Mori. After Brucie finally retaliates and punches Mori, he later shows up at Maisonette 9 to thank Luis. Brucie leans in towards Luis after a series of compliments, strongly implying an attempt to hit on him. Luis strongly declines, and Brucie awkwardly attempts to convince Luis that he was just testing him to see if he was gay.

Tony and Luis meet Ray Bulgarin and his associate Timur at Maisonette 9, who offer Luis some work in exchange for financial help. Luis helps Bulgarin eliminate some corrupt federal agents and acquire the Liberty City Rampage hockey team. Gracie Ancelotti gets Tony back on the drugs and is later kidnapped by unknown assailants. The Ancelottis establish that Gracie has been kidnapped because of the diamonds and are pointing the blame at Tony and Luis. Tony learns that the diamonds are being exchanged at the Libertonian, and sends Luis to retrieve them. Luis ambushes the exchange (involving Niko Bellic and Johnny Klebitz) and escapes in the Buzzard, which has since been gold plated.

Bulgarin phones Luis, telling him to go to the roof of a building in midtown Algonquin. As Luis uncovers the severed head of the chef from the "Platypus", Bulgarin explains that the diamonds belong to him and accuses the chef, Luis and Tony of colluding to steal them. It emerges that Bulgarin has led Luis to an ambush on the rooftop, and he escapes alive. Luis and Tony are then ordered by Gracie's father, Giovanni Ancelotti, to trade the diamonds with the kidnappers and get Gracie back. At the exchange, Bulgarin shows up and orders his men to attack the assailants, Packie McReary and Niko Bellic. Bulgarin flees the scene and amidst the chaos the diamonds fall into a dump truck headed the opposite direction. Luis, Tony and Gracie escape in a speedboat.

As a result of being preoccupied with recent events, Tony neglects to pay his debts and the city closes down all of his clubs. Luis meets Rocco and Vince in the restrooms in Middle Park, and they explain to him that he must kill Tony, or the Ancelottis and Russians will team up and kill Tony, Luis and all of their friends and family. Luis shows up at Maisonette 9, and contemplates shooting Tony before pointing the gun at Vince and shooting him in the head. Tony warns Luis not to shoot Rocco, as he is a "made man". Rocco escapes, and the Russians show up ensuing in a huge gunfight within the club. Tony blames Luis for contemplating to kill him and flees to his apartment to pack and move to the desert. Luis convinces Tony that he chose not to kill him because it's them against the world, and that they need to resolve their situation. Luis ventures to Firefly Island to ambush a Russian heroin exchange, telling Tony to hide out by the Monoglobe structure in Meadows Park, Dukes.

In the fairground, Luis destroys the heroin and kills Timur, who mentions that Bulgarin is fleeing the city by plane within two hours. After an opportune phone conversation, Yusuf shows up in the Buzzard and eliminates the pursuing Russians while Luis drives to the airport. Luis manages to board the plane, and kills all of the henchmen onboard. A vengeful Bulgarin emerges from the cockpit holding a grenade, threatening destruction to both of them if Luis kills him. Luis takes the risk and shoots Bulgarin, who drops the grenade causing it to explode. Luis parachutes out of the burning wreckage of the plane to safety, and heads to Meadows Park where Tony is waiting. In the park, Luis knocks a hobo into a trash pile, who finds the missing diamonds amongst the trash and runs off gleefully. Yusuf approaches Tony and Luis and the three celebrate their victory and look toward the future. At the end of the credits sequence, Mori and Brucie are seen in an underground cage fight and Packie McReary is seen leaving Liberty City on a plane with the stolen money he had got from robbing the bank. The hobo who found the diamonds is shown living in a big mansion surrounded by women, and in the near future he said he will open up a gun shop and liquor store in Vice City. All of Tony's clubs are reopened.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 89/100
Review scores
Publication Score A-[7]
Eurogamer 8/10[8]
Game Informer 9.3/10
GameSpot 9.5/10
GameTrailers 9.2/10
IGN 9.2/10
X-Play 5/5

The game received mostly positive reviews, with a score of 89/100 on Metacritic.[9]

At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony was awarded the Best DLC award.


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