San Fierro is a fictional city located in the fictional state of San Andreas, and it is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. San Fierro is based on San Francisco, California; consequently, San Fierro and San Francisco bear striking similarities. Both are moderately-sized bayside cities located on a peninsula featuring very steep roads and terrain, large bridges, and a cable car system. San Fierro is "Saint Iron" in Spanish
Geography and distinguishing features
San Fierro is the smallest metro area in San Andreas and is located in the western part of the state. South of the city lies the massive Mt. Chiliad and the little town of Angel Pine in Whetstone County. To the north, across the Gant Bridge (San Fierro's version of the famed Golden Gate Bridge), lies the small town of Bayside. Northeast of the city lies the desert county of Tierra Robada. Southeast of the city is the heavily forested Red County.
The city bears visible scars of an earthquake, a likely reference to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, 3 years before the game takes place. In fact, a radio news report early in the game hints as to the aftermath of an earthquake, suggesting that a major one had recently occurred.
Examples of earthquake damage within San Fierro include a separated and damaged section of highway beside a functioning highway, a crack in the ocean floor near Gant Bridge, and a severely damaged building next to CJ's garage with a sign reading "Building Unsafe".
As with every other city in San Andreas there are emulated landmarks. In San Fierro, these include:
- Transamerica Pyramid; known as the Big Pointy Building. One can travel to the top for a bird's eye view of San Fierro. One parachute (and only one, so exercise caution) is provided, in case players have the urge to jump off. Also an in-game sign next to the building forbids "big prick" jokes. Another sign forbids base jumping (a joke made at the fact that a parachute is provided on the top of the building for exactly that purpose). A third sign states that the pyramid was voted "San Andreas's Pointiest Building".
- Several San Francisco buildings such as 101 California Street] and Ferry Building.
- The San Francisco Bay Bridge makes an appearance as the Garver Bridge. This bridge links San Fierro and Tierra Robada near Las Venturas.
- Lombard Street, known as the most crooked street in the world, is Windy Windy Windy Windy Street. CJ can buy a house on this street.
- Chinatown Gate
- Fort Point makes an appearance in the game, underneath the Gant Bridge. However, the fort has been taken over by Jizzy, a pimp, and is known as Jizzy's Pleasure Domes.
- The Castro district is emulated as "Queens", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the neighborhood as being the heart of San Francisco's gay community.
- The San Fierro City Hall, based on the Beaux-Arts styled San Francisco City Hall, is located at the west end of Queens.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area
- Grace Cathedral
- Fort Mason
- Golden Gate Park
- USS Numutz, based on USS Pampanito, is located in Esplanade North. The name was probably based on the real-life aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz.
- Presidio of San Francisco is a park area located in Palisades.
- A replica of Mount Sutro's Sutro Tower, located atop Missionary Hill just south of San Fierro. An observation area is located near by, offering a pristine view of the city's southern side.
- Foster Valley, located between Missionary Hill and the Easter Bay Airport, may be inspired from planned cities such as Foster City (which may explain the original of the area as well) or a resemblance of Silicon Valley. The contemporary buildings in the area, as well as a row of identical cylindrical shaped buildings along an artificial lake, mildly resemble those of Oracle Corporation's World Headquarters at Redwood Shores, Redwood City, which is, coincidentally, also located near Foster City.
- A replica of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption can be found in Ocean Flats.
- The Zombotech Corporation, a parody of Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil, is headquartered in San Fierro as well. The sign on the inside says "Zombotech: Sinister Zombie Research Corporation, Welcomes Visitors!"
- Easter Bay Airport is a relatively accurate rendition of San Francisco International Airport, with a two tier terminal.
- Pier 69 is modelled closely after San Francisco's Pier 39, a popular tourist attraction lined with shops and restaurants. The name is an obvious reference to the 69 sex position.
- San Fierro's football team are the San Fierro 69ers, a reference to both the San Francisco 49ers and the sexual act.
Although cars are prominent, there are several other modes of transportation within the city. Much like in San Francisco, Cable cars circle San Fierro. However, the player is unable to ride it, and the cable cars are literally unstoppable, as they plow through any obstruction without taking damage. The Brown Streak Railroad stops at Doherty's Cranberry Station across from CJ's garage. The Easter Bay Airport is located to the southeast of the city.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the game's events and plot points are mostly separated by San Andreas' three metropolitan cities. The events that occur in San Fierro follow those of Los Santos, San Andreas. Any attempt to access either San Fierro or surrounding Flint County or Whetstone before the region is unlocked - via swimming, by air, or by boat - results in an automatic 4-star police rating.
After a deadly shootout under the Mulholland intersection in Los Santos, Carl Johnson is kidnapped by Officers Tenpenny and Pulaski and dropped off in the small wilderness town of Angel Pine. It is here that they begin forcing him to do their dirty work for them, including killing witnesses that would testify against the crooked cops. Along the way, Tenpenny wants CJ to help get some marijuana, and introduces CJ to the pot-growing hippie, The Truth. At this point in time, Cesar calls CJ, informing him that his gang has been disbanded, and that his life is now in danger. After escaping Los Santos, Cesar meets with CJ, and they street race with the mysterious Wu Zi Mu. After CJ wins a deed to property in San Fierro, he flees there with The Truth after the marijuana farm is raided by the FBI.
Once there, CJ finds that all is wrong. The garage he won is dilapidated, and he uncovers the disturbing truth about the Loco Syndicate, the crime organization responsible for the spread of drugs in Los Santos. It is run by Mike Toreno (although he claims innocence), a shady government agent; T-Bone Mendez, a San Fierro Rifa, serves as the muscle of the organization; Ryder, CJ's former homie; and Jizzy, the city's most prolific pimp. As he is investigating the Loco Syndicate, CJ also finds out that Wu Zi Mu (Woozie) is actually the head of a Triad gang, and at war with the Da Nang Boys, a Vietnamese crime group.
After many odd jobs and errands for multiple bosses, CJ, Woozie and Cesar decide to take down the Loco Syndicate. CJ first kills Jizzy in a speedchase. He then heads down to Pier 69 and kills T-Bone and Ryder. Finally, Woozie informs him that Toreno is departing town in a helicopter and CJ shoots him down. He then destroys the crack lab, ending the Loco Syndicate once and for all.
He receives a mysterious call from a "friend" who knows about CJ's brother Sweet, and CJ heads out to the desert to find none other than Mike Toreno. A new chapter in the San Andreas storyline unfolds.
- Doherty - Dogpatch
- Hashbury - Haight-Ashbury
- Garcia - Mission District
- Easter Basin - China Basin and Hunters Point
- Queens - The Castro
- King's - Noe Valley
- Santa Flora - Twin Peaks
- China Town - Chinatown
- Juniper Hill - Russian Hill
- Juniper Hollow - Cow Hollow
- Calton Heights - Pacific Heights
- Palisades - Presidio Heights
- Downtown/Financial - Financial District
- Esplanade East - The Embarcadero
- Esplanade North - Fisherman's Wharf
- Easter Basin Airport - San Francisco International Airport
- Ocean Flats - Ocean Beach
- Paradiso - Presidio of San Francisco
- Battery Point - Fort Point
- Avispa Country Club - Cliff House
- Foster Valley - Silicon Valley/Peninsula