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Upstate Liberty is the name given to the northern end of Shoreside Vale, which is normally inaccessible during gameplay, and is normally used as a background. The area could be considered the technical limitations of Grand Theft Auto III. It is the northernmost part of Liberty City in GTA III, and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Upstate is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto III, but its location is never revealed. The northern part can only be assumed as the location. The name and location are suggested in GTA Liberty City Stories.



The water hole to Blue Hell.

Lying behind the Shoreside Vale land mass, are water patches and a gaping entrance into the Blue Hell. There is also a small city block situated behind the mass in GTA III.

The hills, which are above Cedar Grove, are only there to cover up the area behind it. Most of these hills are not solid. The way to distinguish this, is by looking at the grass. If the grass is blurred, it's usually not solid. Most of the ground below the observatory is solid, and the ground at, or above the observatory, isn't.

A chain of telephone poles that appear in the city begin from Upstate. The very first one, or last one, is located directly next to the observatory.


The rugged terrain.

Upstate is the hilliest part of Shoreside Vale. The hills are located above Cedar Grove, as mentioned before. There are two layers of hills. The first layer is under the observatory, and the second layer is at the same level, as the observatory, although some of it stretches out above it. There is a steep rocky wall connecting the two, which acts as a wall, preventing the player from roaming the second layer. The wall also stretches around the western part of the hills near Cochrane Dam, and the eastern part of the hills. The first layer is solid, and the player can roam on it. The second layer isn't solid. Located above the wall is an invisible field that blocks the player. It is worth noting that some of the hills on the first layer can be used as ramps to jump onto, and through the second hill mass.

Cochrane Dam

Around the upper-area of Cochrane Dam, the north-western section of the hills can be seen sheltering the water contained in the dam. The rocky parts of this section are solid, but aren't normally accessible. From certain viewpoints, optical illusions can be seen, which are results of incomplete draw graphics, such as water jutting through the wall of the dam. Under the water, a large entrance to Blue Hell exists. Unlike all of the other Blue Hell entrances, if the player falls in, they will fall for a longer period of time, as opposed to the normal amount of time.

Road tunnels

The closed tunnel entrance.

Two road tunnels are located to the North of Cedar Grove, and to the East of Cochrane Dam. The tunnels may be a clue to the actual entrance to Upstate. In GTA III, the tunnels seem to appear to connect with each other. In GTA Liberty City Stories, the tunnels do connect to each other at an underground T-junction. Another tunnel branching off at the intersection leads to Upstate. According to the Lips 106 radio station, it is mentioned that Carcer City is nearby and it is likely that these tunnels connect both Liberty City and Carcer City. However, the map of Carcer City doesn't appear in GTA III and LCS.

Grand Theft Auto III

The mountains of Upstate Liberty.

The tunnels first appear in GTA III, and are blocked off without much reasoning. The tunnels do not have any significance to the storyline. Signs, blockades, and an invisible wall at the front of both tunnels are seen blocking the entrance. If the player causes an explosion on the items, some items will fly by the explosion, but it will still be blocked. The construction signs aren't solid, which is why explosives don't affect them. The only solid part inside the tunnel, is the small path in front of the pile of rubble.

In-game, it would appear, as if these are under construction, as mounds of dirt, and construction signs are visible. The tunnels extend at least twenty feet into the hills, before they come to a stop. Past this wall, there is nothing. It would also appear that the tunnels connect to each other, as seen in the interior, but they don't. Also, as seen through the radar, they appear to lead up towards the city limits, but they won't.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

The two tunnels return in GTA Liberty City Stories, but this time they are accessible and include traffic. They are in the same location. One in Cedar Grove, and one at the end of the Cochrane Dam. The two tunnels connect in the center, where the "Upstate" name can be seen on all tunnel entrances. There is also another blockade planted here. The other side of the road appears to go uphill. This too is not solid. The edge of the game world is not present here, but the blue hell entrances are. Unlike in GTA III, the tunnel is located deep inside the hills, instead of jutting out. Going under this road will result in the player falling in the water. As the one can see in GTA Liberty City Stories' map, in Shoreside Vale, the upstate doesn't have anything, even those names like in GTA III, because, this time, the radar shows only the map, exactly the same as the map menu. If the one is going to Upstate direction, soon they will see the hills in the radar disappearing. Going more north, the player will start bugging, same with player's car.

Boundaries of the gameworld

The ocean to the right and the edge of the world to the left.

Surrounding all of Liberty City, is an area dubbed the borders of the "game world." This can be spotted, usually as a light blue area behind the water. However, colors can change with time and weather, but usually it is the same colour as the sky. This is nothing more than the biggest "hole" in the game. It works just as blue hell does. It can be seen as such, as when the player gets close to it, they can angle the camera to a certain extent to which it emulates a "trail" effect. This area has no water and is void of any physical objects. It is also the area, in which all physical simulations of the game cease. The atmosphere is still present in this area and low-textured birds can still be seen.

The ocean in blue to the right, and Blue Hell to the left.

Venturing too far into this region can result in game instability, and random crashing. If the player attempts to enter it while commandeering a vehicle, the game will likely "bounce" them back, but it might also crash in the process. The areas, at which this occurs, are the names Aaronsville, and Garystown. Attempting to enter these names repeatedly in a short period will likely result in a game crash, as they are too far north. In the PS2 and Xbox versions, the game will freeze, but the radio will still play, if the player is in a vehicle. In the PC version, the game will crash, giving the user an unhandled exception error message. Trying to use trainers or cheating devices to avoid the game's "bounce" mechanism will crash the game, once the player passes the game's boundary. This boundary differs between the three consoles. In the PC version, if the player crosses said names, the game will crash, but with the console versions, the player can almost reach the light blue void, before the game freezes.

Also, if the player approaches Upstate from the Portland side, and flies into the north-eastern hill mass, their vehicle will disappear, and reappear after a few seconds. The reason for the hills not being complete was the thought, that no player can normally venture there. However, in GTA Liberty City Stories, most of the hills actually have backsides, which are unsolid, instead of having large holes in the landscape.

Radar text

The secret towns.

Close to the edge of Liberty City in GTA III, there are several names that can be seen on the radar: Chris's Town, Garystown, Adamton, Obbeburgh, Woodcunty, Les County, and Aaronsville, all of which were named after some of the programmers and developers of the game. To see these names, the player would have to learn how to fly the Dodo, and fly it behind the Shoreside Vale hills.

These names may have been placed here just as Easter eggs, which could be the purpose of the Dodo. It is not possible for it to be another part of the city, as it too close to the edge of the game world, and could crash unexpectedly.

Name Programmer name Position
Aaronsville Aaron Garbut Art Director
Adamton Adam Fowler, Adam Cochrane Technical Direction, 3D Artist
Chris'sTown Chris Rothwell Designer
Garystown Gary Mcadam 3D Artist
Les County Leslie Benzies Producer
Obbeburgh Obbe Vermeij Technical Direction
Woodcunty Alisdair Wood


In The Ballad Of Gay Tony mission Corner Kids, Luis Fernando Lopez mentions that himself, along with Armando Torres and Henrique Bardas, were held in a prison located "upstate." This hints that upstate Liberty is a canon location in GTA IV.


The main mean of reaching Upstate in GTA III is by plane. Another way to reach it, is the use of cheats in combination with the turret of the Rhino tank. The player cannot reach it by boat, as there are invisible currents that cut off Upstate from the water around Francis International and Portland. However, in GTA Liberty City Stories, the inclusion of a floating car cheat allows the player to drive through the boundaries, which would normally prevent boats from entering. Also, if the player has obtained a helicopter, they can use that to go past the boundaries, but not the height limit.


  • The small fold-out maps that come with all copies of GTA III do not include the Upstate area of Liberty City.

See also