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"Have you noticed a bad habit of throwing yourself ashore at full speed, leaving your boat lying on the sand? Well, next time, try not to annoy the visitors and employees of the Vespucci Beach with your terrible behavior. Or just purchase a BF Vortex - a hovercraft transport that became popular in the 90s thanks to movies and music videos. Moreover, this lord of the three elements can not only ride and swim, but also soar no worse than Ultralight."
Warstock Cache & Carry description.

The Vortex is a hovercraft appearing in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto Online as part of Pacific Raiders update. It is manufactured by Bürgerfahrzeug in the HD Universe.

Design

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The Vortex is a single-seat hovercraft, distinguished by its unique large fan and an air cushion below its main hull. The vehicle uses a steering wheel that is connected to two rudders located on the back, giving the steering ability on it. The engine uses two exhaust pipes than seems to have no extra fixing point, therefore the player can see them wobbling while driving the vehicle.

Like some of the vehicles in the Grand Theft Auto series, the Vortex is probably an original concept from Rockstar Games. The Vortex may spawn with a two-tone paint scheme, with the secondary one as a wide stripe on the middle, as well as the large fan case and rudders.

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Vortex still retains the same design as in the San Andreas. This time it has two headlights and small wings on the sides like the Deluxo or the Oppressor when it switched to hover mode. It also has larger fan and air cushion.

Image Gallery

Performance

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Being an amphibious vehicle, is capable of moving both on land and water. The vehicle has extremely poor handling, and often slides off roads. Its' acceleration and top speed are mediocre, but workable. Due to being a hovercraft, it has no grip, and will eventually slide off an angled surface if allowed enough time at idle power. Using the handbrake allows the Vortex's rudder to deflect beyond normal limits, sacrificing speed for extremely powerful turn forces, which allows the vehicle to rapidly rotate. The vehicle's "brakes" (which can be assumed to be reverse thrust from the fan) are extremely weak, and at top speed, it is often more efficient to rotate the Vortex 180 degrees using the handbrake key, and begin accelerating forward. The Vortex appears to be powered by a twin-cylinder engine.

It has a top speed of 55 mph on level ground, which, unlike other vehicles, is not affected by ground type (asphalt, grass, railroad, etc.) due to the fact that it simply floats over the ground. It has a speed hardcap at 99 mph, which is extremely difficult to achieve, normally only achievable by dropping the vehicle from an extremely high height, or driving down an extremely long downhill grade created via modding.

The Vortex is also capable of gliding short distances if the player sends the vehicle flying off a high location, which behaves similarly to controlling an airborne car. With some effort, it is possible to 'fly' the Vortex from the summit of Mount Chiliad to Whetstone and beyond.

The Vortex's rear fan can be damaged by a ram to the rear end, which can potentially reduce the vehicle's overall performance greatly if the damage is great enough. The motor will also begin generating a trail of black smoke much thicker and more opaque than a normal car's engine smoke.

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Vortex has better handling on water than boats and other amphibious vehicles. It has a top speed of 61 mph on land and 87 mph on water. The vehicle has similar controls and handling as the Oppressor or Ruiner 2000 while it floating in the air.

Weaponry

The Vortex has two purchasable weapons: machine gun and homing missiles / torpedoes. All of them are only available at Weaponized Vehicle Workshops in the Avenger, the MOC or the vehicle bay inside the Aircraft Carrier.

Prominent Appearances in Missions

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • The Vortex makes an appearance in the mission Cut Throat Business, where OG Loc attempts to escape from Carl Johnson and Madd Dogg by using one of these. Following this, Carl and Madd Dogg also uses two Vortexes to chase OG Loc.
  • The Vortex is also used for two tests in Boat School, although in the latter, the player cannot exit the vehicle.

Locations

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Like the Kart, the Vortex will only spawn in specific locations after the mission Cut Throat Business, appearing in the following locations:

  • The Panopticon, northeast Red County in a shed
  • On a pier at the end of a short river in Marina, Los Santos (beside a Gang Tag)
  • Available at Easter Basin docks for importing after third list completion for $20,800 on Sunday
  • At the Pirates In Men's Pants casino, The Strip, Las Venturas
  • Spawns on a beach in Bayside, and is known as the 'Ghost Vortex' because it moves by itself off the beach and into the water.
  • On a jetty near Valle Ocultado (near a unique stunt jump)
  • In the lower deck of the aircraft carrier in Easter Basin Naval Base. WARNING: Entering this area will trigger a five-star wanted level!
  • During the mission Cut Throat Business, the white Vortex is more easily attainable, requiring the player simply ignore the instruction to chase OG Loc at any point of the hovercraft chase, failing the mission and gaining full control of the vehicle. OG Loc's hovercraft is attainable after he ditches the vehicle at the pier, and also requires the player cease to pursue him and fail the mission. Another method involves killing Madd Dogg before the cutscene where OG Loc runs to the Vortex. All of the Vortexes are full immune before the cutscene followed by the pursuit. To obtain the indestructible variant, simply stop before the cutscene activates, somewhere near the trees, have the vortexes on sight, and kill Madd Dogg to fail the mission and choose a vortex. The player can obtain both variants by driving them both to the nearest garage while alternating between them, so that they won't disappear.
  • The vehicle can also be spawned using a cheat code.

Grand Theft Auto Online

Trivia

General

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • The Vortex plays Radio X by default when entered.
  • According to the game's files, the Vortex is considered an aircraft rather than a boat or a car. Because of this, a moving Vortex will not experience motion blurring and when it is about to explode, it will first become engulfed in black smoke, and the resulting explosion will be significantly stronger and noticeably more violent, like an aircraft. Furthermore, if the player deliberately destroys a Vortex by attacking it enough times to cause it to explode, they also receive a two-star wanted level, like with aircraft. In addition, enemy Hydras will attempt to shoot the player down at a four-six star wanted level and Police Mavericks will not engage the player. However, the player will not attract missiles if the Vortex is driven into or around Area 69 or the Easter Basin Naval Station.
  • In the PS2 version of San Andreas, exiting a Vortex while going at high speed may freeze the game. This may be explained by either the lack of code for the "exiting animation while running at high speed", or by how the game handles the Vortex (it is considered to be an aircraft). This may also happen if you exit a Vortex after getting it fixed.
  • If a Vortex's rear end is rammed hard enough, the fan may begin spewing thick black smoke and will lose performance accordingly to the damage taken. If the damage is bad enough, the fan blades may even begin occasionally flipping into reverse briefly, and in only the most extreme cases, this can prevent the vehicle from even accelerating, as it flips forward and backwards almost randomly. This kind of modular engine damage is seen only on GTA San Andreas' aircraft, and no other surface vehicle in the 3D universe can have its' engine malfunction in this way.
    • This, along with the Vortex's mediocre top speed, makes it a poor choice for highway travel, as the highways of San Andreas are notorious for bad drivers ramming stopped or slow vehicles at dangerously high speeds.
  • A Vortex left floating on the water may suddenly sink when out of the player's camera view.
  • There may be a glitch where the Vortex's sound effects will change for a different (and strange) sound effect.
  • The Vortex in the Easter Basin Naval Base cannot be driven out of the lower deck of the aircraft carrier as it is too large to be driven through the doors. Additionally, entering the base will give an instant 5-stars wanted level, spawning a high amount of SFPD officers inside the ship, making acquiring it nearly impossible.
  • If an unaware player hovers the Vortex from land to water and attempts a corner in the process, the vehicle can be seen flipped and instantly despawns before it completely flips over, killing the player inside.
  • Despite the fact that the Vortex lacks a horn, pedestrians will still react when the player presses the horn button.
  • In the PC version, if "Fly with mouse" is enabled, the player will be able to steer the Vortex while it is in the air, due to its aircraft coding.
  • Interestingly, despite being coded as an aircraft, a full-health Vortex will never immediately explode on high-speed impact with a wall, in the manner that fixed-wing aircraft do.

See Also


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