Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Character: Michael, Franklin, Trevor
Location: Strawberry, strip club
Unlocked After: Meltdown
They've talked about it throughout the entire game, and now, at long last, it's going to happen. Michael, Franklin, Trevor and Lester are going to take the ultimate risk for the ultimate prize: robbing a bank of four tonnes of gold. Will they make it out alive? Or is this a pipe dream that'll get them all killed? Let's find out.
- Head to the strip club as one of the three. Everybody's waiting in the back of the club.
- Time to choose an approach for the heist: Subtle or Obvious. Subtle requires more prep work; Obvious is more dangerous. Let's run through both. You'll need a big crew for either heist, so choose carefully. You do not want to cheap out on this one! You'll lose a lot of money if you do!
You'll find a van down the street from the strip club. Use the adjoining parking structure to access the parking lot, then quietly drive it out. So long as you use Stealth Mode to get into the van, you'll have no trouble with the guard on duty. Drive it to the strip club and you're golden.
Gold Medal Completion
Escapee - Steal the van and escape within 2:00. So easy. Go into Stealth Mode. So long as you're not seen you won't get in trouble.
Not a Scratch - Deliver the van with no damage. Happy driving!
Next up are three Gauntlet muscle cars you'll need to pull the score off. There are three in Los Santos, and your hacker will provide their locations . . . though how accurate the pictures are depends on the quality of the hacker. Once you have each car, find a Los Santos Customs shop and trick it out so it's ready for the mission with a slew of upgrades. Upgrading specifically for the mission will cost $11,000; other upgrades (recommended) will put you at $25,700 per car. Pricey, but you should have lots of cash by now. After that's done, roll the car out to a small garage by the airport and stow it there. Move on to the next.
Pillbox Hill - First up is a car in a parking structure in Pillbox Hill. The structure is beside the freeway as it turns to the south, on the east side. You'll find it on the roof, parked across handicapped parking spaces.
Rockford Hills - The second car is in a familiar locale. Head to the block where you carried out the Jewel Store Heist early in the game (if it helps, it's down the street from Ponsonbys) and check the west side of the block. The car is parked on the side of the road.
Mission Row - The last car is between two buildings on Mission Row. Look for two roughly square blocks northeast of the strip club; it's between them.
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- Head to the strip club and watch the cutscene.
- Hop in the car out front. Drive over to the tunnel before 8:00 a.m. You have roughly one minute to get there; plenty of time.
- Drop the stinger behind the car. Drive ahead in the tunnel about fifty feet and wait for the cutscene.
- Jump out of the car. Watch as the rest of the guys wrangle the guards from the trucks.
- Drive to the Union Depository, basically just around the corner and down a few blocks. Head into the tunnel and let the guard you've got hostage do his thing.
- Follow the manager through the Depository basement and onto the elevator. Continue to follow through the next few rooms, into the vaults. Keep up the charade until the gold is on the trucks.
- Hop in and follow Trevor's truck out of the Depository.
- Jump to Franklin. Here comes the problem. You need to control the traffic lights in such a way that you keep Merryweather away from the trucks. This part's pretty easy; just change the traffic lights to green to allow the blue arrows through, while changing the lights to red to stop the red arrows. Your hacker will help you out through this . . . or hinder you, depending on his or her quality.
- Watch the cutscene.
- Hop to Trevor. Time to hold off Merryweather. Your position where you start is perfect; stick with Trevor and blow the guys ahead apart, either with explosions, an automatic and Trevor's special ability, or both. You have many easy chances to get headshots here.
- This fight gets a fair bit tougher once the game prompts you to switch. Now Merryweather goons will show up on three sides, and you'll have to deal with them using all three characters. Switch whenever prompted and pour bullet fire into the enemy ranks. As soon as you catch wind of snipers, swap to Franklin and target the overpass for quick kills. Grenades are fantastic here; use them whenever a new jeep shows up and you'll wipe out substantial portions of the bad guys.
- (At this point you'll also hear about the quality of your gunmen. In this case, bad gunmen lead to less gold overall. That sucks.)
- Now for the big chase. Take over as Franklin and race through the streets of Los Santos, avoiding cops, on your way to the freeway. This is tough, particularly for keeping your car in good condition, but it's not as difficult as you might think. The toughest part of this mission may well be not only keeping up with your fellow crew members, but not bashing into their cars with your own. Use Franklin's special ability liberally to take steep turns and to avoid hitting other cars. Once again, if you cheaped out on the fourth driver, you'll lose a lot of gold. Like, a LOT.
- Once you're in the tunnel, get your car into the truck on the right. Make it fast, you don't have much time.
- Drive back to Michael's house.
Gold Medal Completion
Headshots - Kill at least 20 enemies with headshots. There are so many Merryweather guys to off that you'll be hard-pressed not to get at least a few headshots.
Signal Man - Perform less than 10 traffic light changes. Having a good hacker really helps here, as they'll do a lot of the work. Be economical and, for the large part, mess more with the Merryweather guys than helping your own crew. Each merc unit should require only a single light change before they're out of the running.
Accuracy - Finish with a shooting accuracy of at least 60%. Auto-aim is a beautiful thing.
Head to La Mesa, into the warehouses. You're looking to steal a driller. Sneak through the back alleys to get at one, then hop in the truck it's hitched to and drive away. You'll have to flee the cops, but this is surprisingly easy: just get on the freeway to the left as you head out of the yard. You'll have plenty of straight driving down here to lose them. After the job's done, drop the truck off at the waypoint.
Gold Medal Completion
Sneak Thief - Steal the driller without being detected. Go through the alley to the side of the yard where the driller's being kept, and do it in Stealth Mode. You'll come out beside it. Hop in and drive away.
Time - Complete within 5:00. If you're sneaky—even if you're not—this is more than enough time to get the driller to the waypoint. Don't be afraid to wipe out some traffic on the way, so long as you don't go overboard.
The train's a little more involved. Head to the trainyard southeast of Sandy Shores. Once two workers appear on the map, take them out. I used a Sniper Rifle from a distance to avoid detection, but this is up to you. Flip the sidings in the office. Once that's done, just wait for a train to pull in and you'll be prompted to jump to Trevor.
Now the tricky part. Take off in the chopper and fly to the train yard. You need to pick up both the engine and one flatbed car, and deliver them one-by-one to waiting trucks back at the airstrip. You'll need a careful hand to get in close, and careful eyes to avoid collisions with the wires surrounding the tracks. Use the bird's eye view perspective to pull this off. On the way back, aim for the rock across the street from the airfield before approaching—by doing this, you'll be nicely lined up with the trucks.
Gold Medal Completion
Time - Complete within 4:30. You need to be an incredible hand on the chopper's stick to pull this off. Dip, grab, deliver. Dip, grab, deliver. Sounds easy, will probably require practice. Remember to use the rudder to move back and forth! turning with the joystick will get you killed!
Undetected - Steal the train without being detected. Snipe the two guys from a distance. Easy.
The old classic. Find a four-door that's sufficiently beefy. Once it's secured, call Lester. He'll tell you to put it beneath the bank, and the waypoint will pop up. Go to.
- Hop in the car.
- Drive up to the bank.
- Hop to Franklin.
- Drill through the wall as Franklin. Note that it's to your right, not directly ahead.
- Pull the cutter back. Hop out and plant Stick Bombs on the cages through the wall. Blow them to get to the gold.
- Run back out into the tunnel. You have to protect your gunman from the incoming cops. Take shelter to your right first, then when that dries up, find a space to the left and keep firing. If you're sharp-eyed you can pick these guys off long before they get close.
- After a cutscene, guys will start coming through the vault room. Run up to the dirt walls and take cover immediately, before they can start shooting. Take them down.
- More guys will rappel in behind you. Switch cover to the walkway walls and keep firing.
- Eventually, you'll jump to Trevor. Fly the helicopter away from the city.
- Jump to Michael. Push forward, along the walkways above the street. take cover, fire, run ahead a bit, repeat. Keep doing this until you're across the bridge Franklin mentions. A helicopter will show up on the bridge; use Michael's special ability to safely target the cockpit and bring it down before it can open fire. You'll meet another chopper on the other side; give it the same treatment. Keep following the other guys as they run.
- Eventually, you'll make it to a small plaza with a huge statue. Use Michael to bring down the chopper that appears, then switch to Franklin to wipe out the guys who appear in front of you. Change back to Michael and use him to wipe out the helicopter that appears when you run to the other side of the building.
- Down the stairs. Keep following your guys, running, covering and shooting. Eventually, you'll be at ground level; swap bullets with the cops in the streets, then run in and lob an explosive at the van inside the underground parking lot. You'll kill most of the guys who would normally turn this place into a pain. Mop up whomever's left. Two more vans will pull in; give them the same treatment or you'll have a lot of fighting to do in a space with little cover.
- Flee from the cops in your getaway vehicle. Despite being a five-start response, this is not as difficult as it sounds. You have a short period of time before the cops pick up your location. Use this time to sneak into the hospital across the street from the parking lot. Wait for the cops to pass, then zip by and head into the city. Play hide-and-seek from that point on, or find another parking garage, or preferably a tunnel, to hide in.
- Swap to Trevor. He's got company. Tag the guy in the other chopper and keep steady as Lester fires off the RPG. All you really need to do is get in close—but not so close that you hit the other choppers, or the wreckage they leave behind. Be especially careful in the wind farm.
- Drop the gold onto the back of the train. Swoop in low and hit the button once prompted. The gold will land on its own, regardless of how sloppy you are. Watch out ahead, though—there's a bridge in the area which the train passes under. Ow.
- Land at the airstrip. As ever, the game's very picky about where you land.
Gold Medal Completion
Headshots - Kill 20 enemies with headshots. So many opportunities . . .
Time - Complete within 16:00. This isn't that bad. Fleeing the cops is the biggest time killer; stay out of their sights from the start and you should be okay.
Cha-Ching - Drop the gold onto the train within 30 seconds. Get over the train, lower above it, drop. Simple, effective, and not that dangerous.
Accuracy - Finish with a shooting accuracy of at least 60%. You'll do a lot of shooting here; just make sure it's not blind shooting.
random gangster on October 25, 2013:
is it just me or is the getaway vehicle completely unimportant in the obvious approach?!
Marshall dean on October 13, 2013:
What modifications do you need to put on the cars and where do you drop them?
Jeffrey Maskel from Boulder, CO on October 11, 2013:
Great walkthrough. I have to be honest though, I don't have the game. I just read it because I haven't played it yet and wish that I could. Thanks