Grand Theft Auto's homage to its Celtic roots: Directions to Leith, a 'Come to ... trends now

Grand Theft Auto's homage to its Celtic roots: Directions to Leith, a 'Come to ... trends now
Grand Theft Auto's homage to its Celtic roots: Directions to Leith, a 'Come to ... trends now

Grand Theft Auto's homage to its Celtic roots: Directions to Leith, a 'Come to ... trends now

It may be one of the biggest gaming franchises of the 21st century, played by millions around the world, but Grand Theft Auto's Scottish creators have never forgotten the series' Celtic roots.

Despite being set in the US, the outrageous crime shooter's spiritual home is the coastal city of Dundee, where its creators came together to lay the foundations for the multi-billion pound phenomena. 

And on Monday, the company behind the hit game franchise sent gamers into a frenzy after unveiling the first trailer for the hotly-anticipated latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto VI - which was watched more than 100 million times in a day. 

Although the series centres around American culture, GTA has stayed true to its roots and included a plethora of irreverent Scottish references, from mocking nods to the gangland violence that plagued Glasgow in the 1980s and cheeky digs at the country's football teams, to loving tributes to its former Dundee HQ. 

One of game’s missions involves selling drugs from ice cream vans - a reference to the violent Ice Cream Wars in Glasgow during the 1980s, a vicious criminal turf war, that resulted in a fire that killed six innocent people, including an 18-month-old boy.

The creators of Grand Theft Auto, made in Scotland, pack each game of the hit crime shooter franchise with nods towards the franchise's Celtic heritage - like this

The creators of Grand Theft Auto, made in Scotland, pack each game of the hit crime shooter franchise with nods towards the franchise's Celtic heritage - like this "come to Dundee" sign

Rival families, the Ballas and Grove Street gangs are said to be based on Hearts and Hibs and wear maroon and green respectively

Rival families, the Ballas and Grove Street gangs are said to be based on Hearts and Hibs and wear maroon and green respectively

Paul Hanlon of Hibernian FC battles for possession with Ellis Simms of Heart of Midlothian. The colours of the two Scottish sides are said to have inspired the gang colours in GTA San Andreas

Paul Hanlon of Hibernian FC battles for possession with Ellis Simms of Heart of Midlothian. The colours of the two Scottish sides are said to have inspired the gang colours in GTA San Andreas

One mission in GTA is based on the violent Ice Cream Wars in Glasgow during the 1980s, a vicious criminal turf war (pictured is an ice cream truck in Glasgow in 1984)

One mission in GTA is based on the violent Ice Cream Wars in Glasgow during the 1980s, a vicious criminal turf war (pictured is an ice cream truck in Glasgow in 1984)

The two bridges - the Kincaid and Garver - that link the fictional regions of San Fierro with Las Venturas in the 2004 game are based on both the Forth rail and road bridges. Kincaid Bridge is the same colour and design as the Forth Bridge.

Grand Theft Auto V, released in 2013, includes plenty of throwbacks to the spiritual home of the series, with an ice cream parlour on Vespucci Beach being named The Sundae Post, a reference to Dundee’s weekly newspaper. 

Dundee itself has also had its legacy continued in the game. One of the city's landmarks was featured on a billboard in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, while an album called 'Let's go Dundee!!!' is advertised in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. 

GTA San Andreas has a racing horse named 'Henrik's Jaw', in a nod to the the time Celtic's star striker Henrik Larsson broke his jaw during a 2003 clash against Livingston, in an injury so horrific it took him out the season for months. 

Other horse names include: Falkirk Boy, Neigh Bother, Salt 'n' Sauce, Dundee Ned and Ochayethenoo. While one, named Scotland Nil, takes a cheeky swipe at the long and humiliating history of goal-less matches by Scotland’s national football team.  

Rival families, the Ballas and Grove Street gangs are said to be based on Hearts and Hibs and wear maroon and green respectively while an album entitled 'Let's Go to Dundee' is advertised at the Vinyl Countdown store in Rodeo, Los Santos.

Fictional city San Fierro features a wealthy district called Calton Heights, named after the Carlton area in Glasgow, which is notorious for its high crime rate. 

The Hippy Shopper chain is also in San Fierro - a twist on the Happy Shopper grocery chain in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

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