The following page listed every features removed before the final version of Light & Shadow released. (This section is about the author's original ideas).
For L&S, the developer focused on working the story at first, following many negative reviews of V narratives. They decide to keep the multiple protagonist scheme,
Version I is a name given for the earliest concept by the developers. Written since a week after V release. The original location chosen is a city based on real life Chicago and features four protagonists:
- Thomas Fitzgerald, the beta name of Thomas Kingston. Originally a car theft rather than tourist scammer and his father already killed during prologue. His main plot is to seek vengeance against the one who murdered his father.
- Henry Albrighton, now divided into three minor character: Henry Armstrong who killed during the game prologue along with Jack and Jess Albrighton. Owner of local Ammu-Nation store who fallen into trouble with some Italian mob (that based on Chicago Outfit)
- Unnamed Asian Woman, probably the early version of Maria Vinogradova, second in-command of a local Asian syndicate whose betrayed by her envy subordinates
- Unnamed Italian Man, probably the early version of Andrea Acconcia. A hitman who suffers amnesia while chasing his wife's kidnapper, turned into a private detective.
The developer consider the concept has a weak story, without a good common goals. The antagonist supposed to be an unnamed Russian businessman who hires and betray them at the end. One of the developer team member marked it as "another lame idea that will never work, people will quickly get bored,".
A complete rewritten, the developers decide to move the main location to Vice City as Chicago wasn't suitable enough for gangs and underworld that the developer wants. Henry also removed entirely, his story and role considered to be irrelevant to the plot. Leaving three protagonists left:
- Thomas Fitzgerald, same as before.
- Maria Valenca, the beta name of Maria with the same profession as her. Originally a Spanish woman with a different personality than her, prefer to use her sexuality to get results
- Unnamed Italian Man, now a completely honest private investigator with the previous background completely removed.
Each characters has a separate plot, but same main antagonist. This time, the developer think the plot would be too predictable, reducing the stories quality.
L&S about to reached into it's final form, lot of story elements were changed. For example, Thomas father now alive (rather than killed in the prologue), Maria's nationality changed to Russia and her surname changed to Vinogradova, the Italian man now named Andrea Acconcia.
- Andrea supposed to suffers deuteranomaly color blindness inherited from his parents that caused a unique filter for the game when player plays as him (not applied during cutscenes). Removed as player may get confused.
- Jan's beta name was Jack Daniels, a reference to a whiskey brand of Tennessee.
- Dave Norton supposed to return as host of The Underbelly of Paradise: Vice City instead of James Maxwell, but the idea dropped as it will makes Option C as a canon ending for V.
- More than 40 main missions were cut as the developers considered it as "useless".
The game initially focused on investigation rather than manipulation theme. Scrapped as a very un-GTA like concept.
- Earl Livingstone supposed to have a central role in the game story.