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A former Spanish slaving colony, Vice City, or City of the Fallen Angel, holy mother of all and yet of nothing, to give it it's Spanish name, is a city that revolves around just one thing; money. From the retired doctors and lawyers of Vice Beach to the cocaine dealers of Little Bogota, everyone is desperate to show off just how much they can spend in this subtropical paradise. The down town area of Felicity is so-called to reflect the fortune early settlers felt at arriving at such a beautiful place. Modern-day visitors might feel slighlty-less fortunate if they take a wrong turning and stumble into the nastier corners of Little Dominica. More than anywhere else in America, Vice City is the archetypal 'melting pot', with large Caribbean, Colombian and European communities, always feuding with another, often with very violent consequences. The once-peaceful Rastafarian community has become a haven for Yardie criminals who found the going a little too hot in Kingston, and their clashes with the Colombian drug lords have given western Vice City an unenviable reputation. Initial attempts to control the troubles by the Police Department failed following revelations of wide spread corruption and drug trafficking within the force, and the problems have escalated in the last five years. Vice City now boasts the highest murder rates, the highest amounts of drug-related crime and the least respected police department of anywhere in the USA. Still, it's not all bad. As Mrs. Mary Clam, President of the Tourist Board, told us 'Vice City has a deservedly bad reputation as a very dangerous city, but as long as visitors stay out of the downtown area, only go out in daylight hours and never leave their car, they stand a very good chance of survival. Besides, we serve the best tacos in the south-east, and there's no denying the Vice City orange juice is the finest in the USA. As we say in these parts, our welcome may not always be friendly, but it's always warm.
Liberty City, the so-called 'gateway to freedom' where millions of Europeans first entered the USA is everything you imagined it could be and more. Glamorous and cynical, hard-edged and soft-livered, beautiful and damned, it is a city living on the edge. From the glamour of Island City to the down at heel bums of the Brix, this is truly the city that sleeps with one eye open. Founded on land bought off native Indians for just $37, a barrel of mead and a sack of feathers by Belgian settlers in 1603, the ancient 5 boroughs of Liberty Island (incorporating Nixon Island and Law Island), The Brix, Estoria, Kings and Brocklyn have effectively been joined in the metropolitan area by urban areas from the neighbouring state of New Guernsey. Whether you have lived in Liberty all your life, or are visiting for the first time, there is always something new to see. From the tragedy of Law Island, where a plague out break once killed a million immigrants awaiting transfers to the mainland, to the ethnic charm of Island Heights, to the galleries and sky scrapers of downtown Island City, there is so much to see and do. But what really makes Liberty City is the people who chose to live there. From plague to city-wide bankruptcy in the 1970s, from new dawns to broken promises, these people have lived through it all, secure in the knowledge that as long as they have coffee in the morning and an easy buck to make, things can't be that bad. Liberty City has acquired a terrible reputation for violent, organised crime over the years. Yet, as the mayor's office spokesman says 'Liberty City used to be a very violent place, but since we took office, it now has the 47th lowest murder rate of any cite on the eastern sea board.' Nonetheless, inexperienced visitors are advised to avoid The Park at night, when drug-addled squirrels run wild, keep out of Kings at day or night, and stay away from The Brix.
Old world Latin charm and new order Pacific rim technology live happily side by side in San Andreas, the city of the future. San Andreas, which expanded rapidly following the famous 'Fool's Gold Rush' of 1869, has long had ties with the orient. Today, this is reflected in it's thriving oriental communities. As well as Korean and Japanese populations, the city boasts the ninth largest Chinese population in a major city with a two word name anywhere in the world. It has long been rumoured that the Chinese control much of the organised crime on the west coast from a laundry in San Andreas's Chinatown, but no one has ever been able to substantiate these claims, although some have disappeared while trying. Conflicts between Mexican and Chinese communities are common in the area, which also has long been associated with the peace movement. In 1968, hippie students occupied an area to the west of Sunrise, and founded a commune. The dispute with the authorities ended when the Governor sent in a crack team of SWAT operatives, who rapidly ended the confusion. The area has subsequently become known as Soviet Hill. The city of San Andreas grew up around the natural harbour to the south of the modern city. This harbour was formed by the geological fault line which will one day tear San Andreas apart. Seven major earth quakes have rearranged the city, and it sometimes feels as if the people know they are not here to stay. From hippies and Hari Krishna to gangsters and policemen, everyone wants a piece of the action on their own terms in this thriving, 23 hour a day city
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