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The State of San Andreas, also known as the San Andreas Republic is a fictional state located in the southwestern United States of America, featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. San Andreas is closely based on real-life Southern California. When compared to its 3D Universe predecessor, San Andreas is much more accurate in terms of geography and size.
San Andreas is a large, populous state. Its diverse climate makes it unique, ranging from grassy plains to arid deserts to forests and mountain ranges. The forests of San Andreas are dominated by the mighty Redwood trees, standing tall over the ground. San Andreas is located on the West Coast of the United States, and is the birthplace of several new pop culture trends, including celebrity fallouts. The state sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. San Andreas is nicknamed “The Golden State”, much like California.
The area of San Andreas accessible in Grand Theft Auto V consists of two counties: Los Santos County and Blaine County. Other locations such as San Fierro and Las Venturas do not appear but are mentioned numerous times. Red County and Bone County was also previously mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV.
San Andreas is unique in that it is the first setting in the Grand Theft Auto series not to have any part of the map restricted at the start of the game, with the exception of certain specific locations such as the city airport, the Humane Labs and Research chemical laboratories, the military base and the state prison. This means that even at the very beginning of the story, players can explore and discover the world to their hearts’ content. However, some locations such as Sandy Shores do not play a role in the storyline until a certain point in the game.
San Andreas’ motto is, “We won’t be broken hypocrites forever,” as stated in a San Andreas Tourism Board commercial; according to the same advertisement, San Andreas has the most polluted air in the world.
Little is known about the history of San Andreas. Throughout the story, snippets of the state’s history are mentioned in dialogue. San Andreas used to be a territory of Mexico in the 1800s, which explains the large Mexican population and some Spanish geographic names. The city of Los Santos, however, was founded in 1781, which was when the Spanish Empire was still in control. Old Mexican bloodlines like Manuel’s resided there for over 200 years, and consider themselves more American than Americans themselves. Blaine County was established in 1823.
Judging from the state flag, it is possible that the American settlers came to San Andreas and defeated Mexico, thus establishing the San Andreas Republic. Los Santos County was established in 1889, several years after the founding of Blaine County. In the 20th century, San Andreas became the center of culture in America and gave birth to the famous Vinewood film culture, resulting in classics like Vinewood Zombie. In Grand Theft Auto IV, it is stated that Los Santos experienced riots in the 1990s, just like the Los Angeles Riots.
The beaver is the official state animal of San Andreas. The beaver can be seen on the state flag, the logo of the Los Santos County Sheriff, and on the seal of the city of Los Santos.
The entire state, like its real-life counterpart, is geographically diverse, with nearly every biome except for snow. The metropolis of Los Santos is located at the very south of the state, separated from the Grand Senora Desert by the Vinewood Hills, where the famous Vinewood Sign is located. The Alamo Sea, a salty lake based on real-life Salton Sea, along with the aforementioned desert and the towns of Sandy Shores and Grapeseed is in a wide basin surrounded by the massive Mount Chiliad, the highest point of the state, in the north, Mount Josiah to the west, the San Chianski Mountain Range and Mount Gordo to the east, and the Vinewood Hills to the south. Across Mount Chiliad, the town of Paleto Bay and its surrounding forest is connected to the rest of the state by the Great Ocean Highway, Mount Chiliad Tunnel and Braddock Pass between Mount Chiliad and Mount Gordo. The Fort Zancudo U.S. Army Base is located at the foot of Mount Josiah, beside the Zancudo River, one of two natural outlets of the Alamo Sea, the other being Cassidy Creek, which cuts through Raton Canyon. Natural beaches border the west of the island, stretching from the Los Santos district of Vespucci to Paleto Bay, while the east coast has high cliffs and mountains.
The state’s flying industry is served by Los Santos International Airport (LSIA), Fort Zancudo for military use, the Sandy Shores Airfield, owned by one of the protagonists Trevor Philips and McKenzie Field in Grapeseed, used for air trafficking operations. The Port of Los Santos is a major seaport where cargo ships can be found.
The city of Los Santos is very diverse in population, from the large African-American community in South Los Santos, the Hispanics in East Los Santos and the celebrity millionaires in Rockford Hills and Richman. Rednecks inhabit Sandy Shores, while Grapeseed is the state’s center of agriculture. It is also said that hipsters can be found in Chumash and the LS district of Mirror Park. The Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness is a common hunting ground and the home of the Altruist Camp.