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|“||Wait, Sonny. You have my personal assurance you're gonna get your money back, and the drugs. And I'm gonna mail you the dicks of those responsible!||„|
|~ Tommy Vercetti|
Tommy Vercetti is the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Vercetti was sent to prison in Liberty City in 1971 for multiple counts of homicide, apparently totaling eleven (although Vercetti was originally sent by the Don of the Forelli family, Sonny Forelli, to assassinate only one man), which earned him the nickname “The Harwood Butcher,” a reference to the Liberty City neighborhood in which the murders had occurred. It appeared that Vercetti had successfully assassinated the man he had been sent to kill, but was then surrounded and had to fight his way out. With the help of the Forelli family’s connections, he was spared the death penalty and only served 15 years for manslaughter.
Due to Sonny’s influence, Tommy is released from prison in 1986. Sonny quickly realizes that having “The Harwood Butcher” returning to Liberty City and working on behalf of the Forelli family would be harmful to business, so he decides to send Tommy to Vice City to oversee an important drug deal between the Forelli family and the Vance Crime Family. Tommy and the two Forelli soldatos with him, Harry and Lee, meet with Ken Rosenberg, a bent lawyer serving as the Forelli family’s contact in Vice City. The deal is supposed to be the beginning of the family’s expansion “down south,” but during the exchange, concealed masked gunmen kill three of the people involved in the deal (Harry, Lee and Victor Vance), stealing both the drugs and the money Tommy was charged with protecting. Having narrowly escaped with Ken, Tommy immediately informs Sonny of the botched deal. This infuriates Sonny and he demands that Tommy get back both the cocaine and the lost money, or lose his life as a consequence. Tommy assures Sonny that a painful death awaits those responsible for the ambush.
During his search for leads within Vice City’s underworld, Tommy teams up with Lance Vance, the surviving member of the Vance Crime Family who is seeking vengeance for the death of his brother Victor. Together, and through the help of recently acquired friends and contacts Colonel Cortez and Kent Paul, they discover that Vice City’s most powerful drug lord, Ricardo Diaz, was responsible for the ambushed deal and the death of Lance’s brother. Tommy manages to gain Ricardo’s trust over time by performing multiple tasks for him, and becomes a trusted member of Diaz’s Gang. However, Lance, who has already infiltrated the gang, is spurred by the death of his brother into staging a premature attempt on Diaz’s life.
Lance fails to kill Diaz and is captured by members of his gang to a junkyard to be tortured before Tommy manages to rescue him, blowing his cover as an associate of Diaz’s gang in the process. After Lance recovers in a hospital, Tommy assures him it would be best to forcefully invade Diaz’s estate in order to take him out before the drug baron has them both killed. The two men infiltrate the grounds of the mansion, killing Diaz’s men while making their way to his office, where they murder him, thus exacting revenge for the ambushed deal.
Tommy then assumes control of Diaz’s huge mansion and its accompanying grounds, renaming it the “Vercetti Estate.” Following the death of Diaz, Tommy takes over his huge drug trafficking empire and expands its operations into gun-running, car theft, prostitution, protection rackets and various odd jobs (mostly illegal). Tommy then goes on to acquire multiple businesses and assets within the city, including the Cherry Popper ice cream factory and the Malibu Club, as fronts for his illegal activities and ways to launder the money, thus forming the Vercetti Gang transforming Tommy into one of Vice City’s richest, most powerful, and most influential men in the process. However, Lance begins to feel that Tommy is treating him like a child, as his brother Victor used to, and repeatedly complains of his dissatisfaction with his cut of Tommy’s vast profits.
Sonny Forelli becomes increasingly infuriated with Tommy’s obfuscation of his gradual lordship over Vice City’s underworld, constantly phoning him and demanding that he not only locate the lost money and drugs, but also share his burgeoning wealth with the Forelli family. After it becomes clear that Tommy has officially abandoned the Forelli family, Sonny sends 6 collectors to attempt to forcibly tax and take control of Vercetti’s many businesses. His plans are immediately thwarted, when Tommy chases and kills them before they can accomplish their goals. After this, Sonny comes down to Vice City personally, accompanied by numerous Forelli family soldiers. Forewarned of Sonny’s arrival, Tommy sets aside $3 million of the money he has been counterfeiting at the print works in an attempt to placate him. When Sonny arrives at the Vercetti Estate with his entourage, he makes clear his disappointment that Tommy could not see what was “good for business,” and is about to accept the counterfeit cash when Lance openly betrays Tommy and informs Sonny that the real money is in Tommy’s office safe (citing “business” as the reason for his betrayal).
As a result of these multiple revelations, a huge gunfight erupts in the mansion. Tommy holds off the Forelli members trying to storm the office, then heads to the roof to take out the treacherous Lance. The final showdown is at the foyer where Sonny reveals that he orchestrated the incident which resulted in Tommy’s original imprisonment. This riles Tommy and he proceeds to finish off Sonny and the rest of the Forelli gang in a climatic gun battle.
The final cutscene in the game depicts Tommy engaging with Ken Rosenberg, stating that because Sonny has been eliminated, the Vercetti gang can now enjoy its dominance of the Vice City underworld, free of any allegiances. He then goes on to say that “this could be the beginning of a beautiful business relationship” between him and Ken.
Following the death of Don Sonny Forelli in Vice City, the Vercetti Gang no longer holds any ties to the “North” (i.e. the Liberty City Mafia), and Vercetti emerges as the richest and most powerful crime lord in the city. While the longevity of his reign is uncertain and contested, Tommy is indicated to be in control at least up until 1992 (the date and setting of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), when Ken Rosenberg phones him from a rehab clinic on the outskirts of Las Venturas. Rosenberg tries to get in touch with his old boss in The Introduction prequel machinima film in order to find work, only to be turned away several times by one of Vercetti’s associates, as Vercetti has apparently terminated his “employment” due to his cocaine addiction and propensity for liability. As Vercetti no longer takes Rosenberg’s calls, their partnership is considered dissolved.
Tommy appears in Castaras. He is seen in Castaras babys as a 6 year old and a adult in Castaras Long After.
GameDaily included him in a top 25 list of video game anti-heroes, praising Ray Liotta's portrayal as having transformed him from a generic-looking thug to a tough guy who ruled the 80's. In a later article, they listed the "walking stereotype" on their list of top 25 video game archetypes. Tommy Vercetti is one of the most popular protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series.
- In the mission Death Row, he saves Lance Vance from being tortured to death by Diaz's mens
- In the mission All Hands on The Deck, he protects Cortez and his boat to escape the frenchs.
- In the mission Psycho Killer, he wiped out the psycho killer from killing love fist.
- In the next mission, he saves Love fist by helping them defuse a bomb.
- In the mission Autocide, he assassinated European gang members to foil their bank heist plan