Nickel and Dime:
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies or gets arrested.
- There are no mission checkpoints.
- "Blondie - One Way Or Another" is always played at the beginning of this mission.
- If you wreck the black Cerrano in presence of your client, if the robber dies or is left behind (= considered as "arrested" by the game), you'd be prompted to directly drive to the garage at Hunt's Point instead; but of course, you wouldn't get your 100 $, then.
- During the getaway, the robber is unable to exit your car, but you can throw him out by entering the vehicle from the passenger side. Then he'd simply try to get inside again, if you're still close to him; if you attempt to drive away, he'd just wait for you coming back. If you attack him, he wouldn't fight back at all. You can also finish the mission while he's sitting dead next to you.
- Except for the very beginning, the dialogue between TK and the robber during their getaway is completely random each time, regarding the who, when and what.
- The wrecked Wayfarer and Zartex from the opening cutscene are still there: right behind you from the starting point, with their dead passengers still inside. If you'd have aquired a gun (= see my next points!), you could shoot both cars, in order to let them explode.
- You can already aquire the Shotgun in this very first mission! Just get out of your vehicle with a regular cop car on your tail and pummel them both to the ground with your bare fists! Since your wanted level will raise this way, the cops will pull out shotguns instead of revolvers.
- Almost all of the cop cars in this mission are regular chasers like in free ride mode: If you escape or wreck the first one, chances are still given that another patrolling car will spawn, independently from time or mission progress; but only one at a time instead of two. If you are still escorting the robber, one cop will attack you, and the other will shoot the robber.
- The only exception from the last point are the two cop cars creating a roadblock at the end of Broadway. This scene is scripted and triggered by crossing an invisible checkpoint near the end of Broadway - no matter of your current conditions (the only way to cut this event is by letting another cop car spawn after loosing the initial one). And since this is a set up event, you won't get into a police chase nor will your wanted level raise, even if you are right next to these scripted cops and no matter what you do. Each car contains two cops getting out and chasing after you on foot, armed with revolvers. By either killing them or letting themselves kill each other through friendly fire, you'll be able to collect the Revolver - and having access to this weapon before the mission 'Gunman'.
- The three instruction hints at the beginning of this mission are time-based and therefore will always interrupt your gameplay each at the same time after mission start.
- You can freely drive around the city at any time, but you won't have access to one of the three garages (only after completing 'Wheelman') nor to the safe house (only after the Bishop cutscene was played). But health packages are still placed at each of the garages.
- If you restart the mission, the in-game cutscenes will play again, but the Meat Wagon and Firetruck from the very first cutscene won't have their sirens turned on, anymore.
- You can't finish the mission with a cop on your tail.
- The black Cerrano given to you in this mission is not the one that is already stored at your garage by default! Because this one here can take twice the amount of damage a regular Cerrano can stand.
- Strangely after completing this mission, crash effects will be permanently disabled, no matter if they're turned on in the options menu. You need to reset your PS2 and reload your profile, in order to get rid of this glitch.
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies or gets arrested, if Slink's Andec is damaged too much (= though still roadworthy at that stage, the game would consider the car as "wrecked" nonetheless), if you leave Slink's Andec behind after entering the vehicle for the first time, if you kill one of the three guys wielding speedguns.
- There are no mission checkpoints.
- Only directly after 'Nickel and Dime' there's a black Cerrano parked right next to the yellow corona, which you're advised to use for collecting Slink's car. But leaving the area, restarting the game at this point, or entering the mission corona on foot and restarting afterwards would result in the vanishing of this car. Also technically, it's not treated as yours, because damaging or getting heat won't be saved to the one you'll have access to after this mission at the garage.
- If you restart the mission, there won't be patrolling cops anymore, even if you'd attack a pedestrian; this will make the first part a lot easier.
- It doesn't matter, if the unmodified Andec receives additional damage, as long as it doesn't exceed beyond a certain level, or additional heat, as long as you bring it to the garage without a cop tail.
- During the garage tutorial, if you select an option that is not highlighted, Ray would be a bit angry with you. He'd make three different comments, which would repeat from your fourth "mistake" onwards. They're the same each time, except for the part where you're supposed to tune the engine.
- If you attack one of the three speedgun guys standing on the right sidewalk, they won't fight back, obviously for being armed with a very unique weapon...
- Slink's comments on either passing or failing a speed test, are completely random: He has a set of about five positive and about ten negative comments.
- It doesn't matter, from which direction and how fast you're passing the checkpoint marks, or if you'd jump out of your vehicle shortly before reaching the line (I'm loving it!), as long as you pass with or above the required speed each time.
- If you have completed the mission 'Gunman' first, Slink will congratulate a bit differently at the end of this mission. Also in this case, 'Pay Ray' will start directly afterwards (which normally happens directly after 'Gunman').
- Only with the successful completion of this mission you'll have access to the garages - not directly after the tutorial and failing on the last part (though the Andec will be saved to your car total right after completing the tutorial).
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies or gets arrested, if you kill Slink, if you make a mistake thrice during one of the four tests (shooting any other barrel than the highlighted one or shooting a barrel in free-aim mode; loosing the targeted Rhapsody by letting go off of the L1 button; shooting the Pangea ten times with the Revolver or once to twice with the Shotgun, before flattening its two right tyres; ramming the fleeing Fairview), if your target escapes at the fourth test.
- There's one mission checkpoint: the beginning of the fourth and final test.
- Only at your very first try, there will be cops patrolling outside whilst practicing inside the factory. They would also react, if you'd attack Slink (= driving in front of the outer wall of the factory and investigating, but not getting into chase mode) or if you'd be inside their field of vision whilst holding a weapon (= getting into chase mode if the yellow bar is filled but without being a thread to you inside). If you restart, they'll be gone until later during the fourth test.
- You can hit or shoot Slink at any time you want to (as long as you don't kill him). He wouldn't even care about and would still be able to comment on your success, even whilst lying on the ground. Also, his life bar will be restored each time after passing a test.
- The first three tests each take place in a different hall of the building: the first in the left one, the second in the middle one and the third in the right one. After passing a test, the door to the next hall will open and you can even go back into the halls of the previous tests. The barrels of the first test will be gone but the Rhapsody of the second test will still be there. (Before starting the mission, if you peek into the halls from outside, only the barrels in the left hall are there.)
- If you're already in possession of the Shotgun, you could also do this mission by using that weapon instead of the Revolver. This way you'd be much faster at the final test (= only four close-range hits necessary).
- At the first test, if you're playing with the all weapons cheat, you can literally skip the whole procedure by shooting a grenade at the barrels (has to be a sliced shot!): Its explosion will hit all five barrels simultaneously, letting you pass the test whilst having done one mistake only (= four wrong barrels at a time = one faulty shot registered by the game).
- At the second test, you need to shoot each of the four sides of the Rhapsody at least three times, in order to pass (= three hits to a side: "bam!"). The car itself is indestructible: Glasses, doors and tyres can be damaged, but it won't smoke nor explode, no matter how often you shoot it. Note that targeting Slink and walking around him whilst holding L1 strangely would count as one mistake, for loosing the targeted Rhapsody (since during circling around Slink you'd at least partially target the car).
- At the third test, the strength of the Pangea will change after flattening both of its tyres: Beforehand, it can take up to 30 Revolver shots, in order to let it explode (10 shots each count as one mistake); afterwards, only a few shots are necessary, in order to pass.
- At the final test, your target will always take a random route, driving around Long Island but never leaving Queens. After shooting your target a few times, it will drive a lot faster than before. If you don't destroy your target but just follow it instead, the chase can go on for quite a long time (note that at some point, patrolling police cars will spawn!), until the driver will finally wreck his Fairview due to his crashes into traffic and stuff; then it will simply explode and you'll be done without having fired a single shot. Also note that during this test, you are not forced to use the Andec given by Slink: If you can afford the time, you could always get out and into another vehicle at will; theoretically you could even complete this mission on foot!
- If you complete this mission before 'Wheelman', Slink will congratulate a bit differently at the end. Also in this case, 'Pay Ray' wouldn't start yet, and if you die or restart at this point, you'd always begin at Ray's Autos at La Guardia and can't access its garage and relocate to Hunt's Point (because you haven't been introduced to that feature, yet). So no matter what you're doing next, you'd be forced to walk or drive all the way back to 'Wheelman', in that specific case.
- This is the only mission in the game taking place in free-roam mode and applying to its rules of dying etc.; therefore technically, you are not inside a mission and can't fail it.
- Entering the yellow corona without having spent at least 1500 $ will always result in the same message: "You need 1500 $."
- As soon as you got at least 1500 $ together, the game will remind you of entering the yellow corona: either each time you load or restart your profile, or after completing or failing a side job. If you should drop below 1500 $, this message won't show up anymore, until you'll meet this requirement again.
- My advise, if you wanna finish this mission as quickly as possible: Grab a Yamashita 900 and head towards the Getaway Survival either in Jersey or in the Bronx, hit the donut stand at full speed, and at least 2000 $ (or 12.500 $ if lucky) should be save to you. This way you can finish the mission in less than three minutes!
- You can finish this mission by entering the yellow corona either on foot or with a vehicle.
- Entering the yellow corona after having spent 1500 $ or more will complete this mission, but keep in mind that 1500 $ will be taken away from your account, then!
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies, if you wreck the gang member's Cerva or leave it behind (unless you're told to do so at the end), if you get on foot heat.
- There are no mission checkpoints.
- During this mission, only one cop car at a time will spawn, never two. Most of the time, you'll encounter them parking, rarely patrolling. A police unit would only call a second one for back up, if their vehicle gets wrecked and at least one cop is still alive. After having gained the necessary heat and completely lost the cops, no further police units will spawn until the end of the mission.
- You are allowed to do everything you want, in order to fill your driving heat bar (at least six points are required for being told to return the car), except for things that would cause on foot heat (even a single point = instant mission failure).
- The fact that you can shoot from inside your vehicle without getting on foot heat, allows for a very fast strategy: showing up in front of the very first stationary cop unit you come across and completely taking it out. You can also finish this mission without even moving the white Cerva at all: by luring a police unit to the gang member's place (= attacking a pedestrian), entering the car and finishing them off from inside (which by the way is the only instance a cop car can spawn before having left the Cerva's parking lot).
- While driving the Cerva, TK will make two comments: first about searching for cops, after leaving the gang member's parking lot (and everytime you loose the cops but haven't gained six driving heat points, yet); second about the chasing cop, after having gained the required driving heat.
- You are allowed to get in chase mode whilst sitting inside a different car - which of course, won't be of any use, since the driving heat needs to be attached to the gang member's Cerva.
- During chase mode, you can return to the starting point (you'd only be told to loose the cops), but you can't exit the vehicle yet, as long as you're still in the visual field of a cop (= on foot heat!).
- At the end, after successfully parking the car into its original spot, you could still be told to put it back inside the corona, if it should somehow get pushed out afterwards (e.g. by yourself or an investigating police unit).
- The ending scene shows two cop units arriving and arresting the gang member. Yet the surrounding conditions you eventually created beforehand won't reset during this in-game cutscene, and these cops will act like they're programmed to act. This allows you for creating some hilarious and unusual endings, e.g. by luring a cop unit to this place right before leaving the scene, or by leaving in a car and driving in the same line one of these two cop cars will spawn afterwards...
- The gang member's white Cerva can take twice the amount of damage a regular Cerva can stand. During this mission, you can simply drive it to the garage and store it. Its doubled strength feature won't ever get lost, as long as you don't replace it with a regular Cerva from the streets. I can highly recommend using this car later in 'Circuit Breaker'!
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies, if time runs out, if you wreck the Wrecker or leave it behind, if a San Marino is wrecked.
- There are no mission checkpoints.
- All of the three wanted San Marinos (first: red, second: black, third: grey) are locked: You can't get inside! This is bad news, if you want one in red color. (Strangely, the only alternative to grab one in red is by starting the 3rd Street Race on Hard and watching the traffic; elsewhere it won't spawn.) Still during this mission, you can collect a Wrecker and a San Marino simultaneously: Just wait near the first one, until they start spawning in the streets. Then hook up one of those, drive to your garage, park the San Marino in a parking lot (Reason: If too close to your garage entrance, it may vanish upon exiting!), store the Wrecker, then get inside the San Marino and store it, too. Now, there should still be plenty of time left: Just restart the mission.
- You are supposed to collect these three cars in a fixed order. If you're still trying to skip a car and drive straight to the next one instead, nothing will be there, yet (= only unlocked through successful delivery of the previous car). But if you should return to the place of a once collected car, the remnants of your actions (e.g. a wrecked Regina or an angry owner) are still there.
- All three cars are protected each by two thugs inside a (locked!) white Regina and one pedestrian: the actual owner of the wanted car. At the first and third car he's standing right next to the Regina talking with the passengers; if you get too close, he'll flame you and continue talking. At the second car he's standing in front of a donut stand (I'll come to that later!) whilst the Regina is parked in the back near the designated San Marino.
- 1st strategy if you want to repossess the cars safely without a tail and in perfect condition: At the first and third car, before hooking them up, either kill the owner and/or attack the Regina or one of their passengers (the co-driver may get out and join the owner if you take too long). If you leave the driver alive, he will most likely flee the scene whilst shooting at you. He may run in circles but still won't be interested in you, anymore. At the second car, killing the owner alone won't work (maybe because the thugs inside the Regina are too far away from him and busy watching his car). So in this case you have to directly attack the Regina or one of their passengers, in order to drive them out (but beware of the owner near the donut stand!). Of course in all of these cases, the safest way is to take out all of them, because of stray bullets that could damage your Wrecker or the San Marino!
- 2nd strategy if you want some action: Just damage or hook up the wanted car before attacking any of the three guys (or if you want some extra damage to your Wrecker, just hook up the Regina itself!). The owner (if still alive) will aggressively shout at you and all three will offensively attack and hunt you down. Even if you should make it back to Phoenix Auto, at least the Regina will follow you there and the driver will get out, shooting you. If you don't kill them at this point, he and his co-driver will simply wait there, until you'd come back with the next stolen car (you can have up to all three Reginas camping in front of Phoenix Auto). Note that if you want an easy getaway, you can flatten all of the Regina's tyres first, which somehow doesn't count as an attack. Last but not least: They will always be after YOU - not their cars!
- You can detach the San Marinos where you want to and leave them behind as far away as you want to: the mission won't fail and noone would care about them.
- If you're skilled enough with the Wrecker, you can detach the San Marinos at Phoenix Auto via drive-by: They just need to have enough remaining speed, in order to slowly roll into the corona.
- After its delivery at Phoenix Auto, a San Marino can still be wrecked or pushed out of the corona, so that you'll have to put it back inside. But once successfully "parked" and left behind, it will be safe and vanish.
- Now to the donut stand and its seller at the second San Marino: To me, this is by far the funniest ingame scene! (You may easily miss what's happening there, if you are too busy dealing with the enemies or stealing the car.) As soon as you have provoked the thugs or shot at the donut seller (which by the way would provoke the car's owner in return), the seller will panic, get inside his Andec parked nearby and drive away. He will drive very fast, making it impossible for you to catch up with your Wrecker. The route he'll take is random. I've already tried out many different things there: He will ALWAYS at least get inside his Andec, no matter what you've done to his car before attacking. If you let it explode, he will still get inside and just sit there; if you get inside before him, he will just pull you out (the only instance in this game TK gets pulled out of a vehicle BTW); if you park it onto the nearby bridge, he'll go airborne; if you hook it up, he'll get inside anyway and push your Wrecker from behind; if you flatten all of the four tyres, you can follow him: he never stops! One time by coincidence, a few minutes after his getaway I've found him chilling inside his Andec in the middle of Prospect Park; another time he crossed my way, almost hitting me. This is awesome and shows, how much detail went into such a great game!
- TK will always make a funny comment, if a San Marino is damaged to about 50 %. Also during stealing the second car, he will comment about the security alarm if triggered.
- As long as you don't wreck them (= mission failed!), the final condition of the San Marinos at delivery point doesn't matter: The Phoenix Auto employee will always be nice and thankful to you at the end of this mission - even if dark smoke is coming out and wheels are missing!
- You'll fail the mission, if TK dies, if time runs out.
- There are no mission checkpoints.
- You can't start this mission on foot.
- Although all of your opponents are driving black Reginas, there are two types of enemies.
- The first type you'll encounter in the alleyways, right after touching each of the four collection coronas; their appearance is staged (= the behaviour of the thugs will be the same everytime) and a confrontation is almost unavoidable: At the western and southern club, each two cars each with two thugs inside will gang up on you from your front and back, the passengers will get out and together with the drivers they will shoot you (if you don't kill them, they won't follow you and will stay at the respective club until the end of the mission). At the eastern club, nothing will show up immediately, but if you move in one of the two directions, each one car with two thugs inside will block your way (same behaviour as with the other two clubs). Only exception is at the northern club, which will have a pursuing car with a single thug inside immediately spawning at the exit towards Central Park.
- The second type you'll encounter on the roadside of the streets, scattered all across Midtown (and one car each halfway on the longer main streets surrounding Central Park), as soon as you'll have made your first collection (though you might already find some single cars beforehand, but their drivers won't attack you at this point); they only have a driver inside and are always found waiting for you at the same spots (also note that after each collection, additional 'waiting' cars will spawn, guarding most of the exits of the appropriate alleyway); they remain stationary until you'd approach them, then they will start pursuing and shooting you; they would follow you everywhere inbetween the southern edges of Midtown and the northern edges of Harlem (only exception is the Funky Rabbit central club, but I'll come to that later); you can totally avoid some of those by using a safe route, e.g. the most western main street or directly through Central Park. If there are already four pursuers 'activated', no additional opponents would join the party: Their cars would be there at their fixed spots, but with noone inside. As with the first type, you can kill them, but you can additionally make them 'disappear' by just escaping; in both cases they won't respawn, if you should revisit their area. At their 'activation', most of these guys will make random comments against you.
- If you decide to start with the western club and enter the respective alleyway from the south, all of the second type opponents can already be triggered, although you haven't made any collection, yet! I guess this was not intended by the developers...
- You can finish this mission on foot, and even with a tail: There are invisible barriers around the mission starting and ending point, which prevent your opponents from further pursuing and shooting you. Once you enter the safe area around the Funky Rabbit, they'd just stop and wait outside of it (and only be 'reactivated', if you should leave this safe area again).
- At each of the four clubs, there's an employee behind a counter wishing you luck after collection (which by the way, you can also make on foot). You can kill these guys if you want to: They won't ever fight back and (strangely!) the mission won't fail because of this. Therefore, you can also kill them before collecting the money, but in that case noone would wish you luck, of course.
- You can let TK give up to five different comments regarding the thugs and Slink's debts: first one at the western collection corona, second one after leaving it towards the eastern exit, third one at the southern collection corona, fourth and fifth one each after leaving the eastern collection corona in one of both directions.