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Claude

At the start of the game, Claude and Catalina robbed a bank in Liberty City. Catalina, however, turned on her boyfriend, shooting him and leaving him for dead, justifying her decision with "I'm an ambitious girl, and you're just small time". Claude is arrested by the Liberty City Police Department. He is convicted of all charges and is sentenced to ten years in prison. While being transferred to a prison in Portland View, Claude escapes from a police convoy after the Colombian Cartel attack the convoy to free the Oriental Gentleman. Claude and 8-Ball escape to a safehouse in the Red Light District, before moving on to Luigi's Sex Club 7. Luigi Goterelli, the owner, gives Claude his first job in the city, to drive Misty from the hospital back to the club. Claude, successful in his errand, continues to be employed by Goterelli, who also has him kill a drug dealer and two pimps, before having him drive Misty to Joey Leone's Garage. Claude then begins to work for Joey, killing both Mike Forelli and Lee Chong, before chauffering Toni Cipriani, later working for him against the Triads, principally killing three Triads warlords. Claude, impressing the Leone Family hierarchy, is introduced to the Don, Salvatore Leone. Salvatore, 'seeing nothing but good things' for Claude, has him looking after his 'girl' Maria for the evening, kill Curly Bob (who was selling secrets to the Colombian Cartel, now co-led by Catalina) and later destroy a freighter used as a factory for the drug SPANK. During this time, Claude also works for El Burro, the leader of the Diablos, helping him on various tasks, and Marty Chonks in his attempts to get out of his various problems. After destroying the Cartel freighter, a paranoid Salvatore attempts to kill Claude by having him enter a bomb-laden car. Salvatore's wife Maria, however, pages Claude and directs him to a small pier where the two meet Asuka Kasen, co-leader of the Yakuza, and flee to Staunton Island after Maria had told her husband that she and Claude were an "item". Asuka, unconvinced of Claude's loyalty, has him kill Salvatore Leone to prove himself, before having him kill a number of other people causing her problems. She later introduces him to her brother Kenji and Ray Machowski, a corrupt police man working for the Yakuza. Claude helps Kenji with his problems, including settling debts and freeing a man from prison, and helps Machowski in his attempts to remain unnoticed, eventually helping him flee the city by the airport. Claude continues to look for work and finds employment with King Courtney, who has him attack the Diablos before attempting to kill him on orders from Catalina, and Donald Love, who has him kill Kenji Kasen disguised as a Colombian Cartel gangster in a Cartel Cruiser to provoke a war. Asuka, unaware of Claude's role in her brother's near death, launches an assault on a Cartel-controlled building site and begins to torture Miguel, co-leader of the Cartel, into giving away Cartel secrets. Armed with the information, Asuka sends Claude on various missions to hurt Cartel operations, including stopping the selling of and stealing a shipment of SPANK. Claude briefly finds employment with D-Ice, leader of the Red Jacks sub-sect of the Southside Hoods, and attacks the rival Purple Nines into defeat. Claude returns to the building site and finds that Asuka and Miguel are both dead, whilst a ransom note from Catalina, for Maria is left for him.

Claude goes to the Cartel mansion, escapes an ambush, destroys a helicopter piloted by Catalina, thus killing her, and rescues Maria. Maria's fate is left unknown, as whilst Maria is talking, a gunshot is heard that stops the talking; what exactly this gunshot was is unknown. Theories include that Claude killing her or simply shooting in the air to stop her talking or even a sound effect played by the game to signify its end.

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