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Ex-Rockstar Dev Sheds Light on GTA San Andreas’ Gravity-Defying Helicopter Bug

The inverted helicopter glitch is just one of the many strange bugs that made GTA San Andreas so entertaining.

Even after 20 years, GTA San Andreas continues to fascinate fans.
Even after 20 years, GTA San Andreas continues to fascinate fans.

If you thought you had seen all the hilarious bugs that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had to offer, think again. A recently surfaced video clip shows one of the most absurd glitches players have encountered yet in the classic open-world game – and luckily for us, a former developer swooped in on social media to explain why it happened, too.

The video, shared on Twitter (or X, if you prefer), depicts a player attempting to park a helicopter on a towed truck and driving it into a garage. So far, so good. However, when the garage door reopens, the laws of physics have gone completely out the window – the helicopter is now resting upside down while the truck remains perfectly upright.

It gets even better. When the player tows the flipped helicopter back out and climbs aboard, the chopper takes off and proceeds to fly along… upside down. Thankfully, former Rockstar developer Obbe Vermeij, who worked on San Andreas and has been on a recent “behind the scenes” streak online, had a simple explanation for the gravity-defying bug.

According to him, when a garage door closed, the game would remove the vehicles inside to reduce RAM usage on aging PlayStation 2 hardware – this method isn’t exclusive to San Andreas, but is fairly common; and also fairly often the source of some glitches.

However, upon reopening the garage, the vehicles were recreated based on their stored positions and attributes. It seems that the code responsible for this process encountered a glitch when dealing with helicopters, leading to their inverted recreation.

Recently, GTA fans have been uncovering the hilarious bugs in GTA: San Andreas.
Recently, GTA fans have been uncovering the hilarious bugs in GTA: San Andreas.

He went on to admit that garages were never tested with aircraft or watercraft during development, as the system was designed with only standard road vehicles in mind. “I never tested the garages with non cars and neither did QA it seems,” he said. Never underestimate players is the moral of this story.

This hugely entertaining glitch is far from the only strange quirk San Andreas players have uncovered over the years. Vermeij has been a good sport throughout, regularly providing gamers with insights into the original weird workarounds and glitches that defined classic GTA titles.

Just last month, Vermeij shed light on San Andreasinfamous plane crashes that have puzzled GTA fans for years, prior to which he deep-dived into an explanation of why the moon changes size when you shoot at it.

For many gamers, these delightfully broken moments are just another part of what makes the fictional world of games so entertaining, even years later. While bugs and glitches can sometimes frustrate players, the enduring appeal of San Andreas lies in its ability to embrace these glitches and turn them into sources of amusement. Just like in real life, not all bugs are a nuisance.

Comments: 2 replies

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Avatar of 8bitavenger

Active member

144 messages 83 likes

Very few games can get away with glitches and bugs, even fewer can become a part of fan lore. GTA games from the past have so many of them and honestly, each one is special to me.

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Avatar of Crusader

Active member

137 messages 75 likes

I am surprised they let ex devs talk about the games at all. They seem so secretive about everything.

Still this is cool getting to see a peak behind the scenes with stuff people have discussed in their games for years.

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Caleb Sama
Caleb Sama // Articles: 13
Ever since Caleb discovered GTA 3, he has taken it upon himself to learn everything there is to know about the fictional worlds created by Rockstar Games. His obsession with Red Dead Redemption earned him the nickname John Marston. Thankfully, GTA V was released a few years later, and he found a new game to fixate on. Now, he simply crawls the web like a bot, searching for every bit of information that might give him a headstart on GTA 6. // Full Bio