GTA: Vice City's Moon Easter Egg Was Added To Settle An Argument

The Grand Theft Auto series is full of weird and wonderful Easter eggs, ranging from movie references to spooky apparitions, but you'll struggle to find one stranger or more mysterious than the interchangeable moon from GTA: Vice City.

Grabbing a sniper rifle and firing off a few rounds into the moon causes the celestial object to change in size, growing to absurdly large proportions before eventually shrinking and returning to its original size. It's very strange, seemed to reference absolutely nothing, and had no official explanation as to why this feature was included until now.

First shared by Kotaku, a Rockstar North developer called Obbe Vermeij lifted the lid on Vice City's weird moon Easter egg in a now-deleted blog post. Thankfully, nothing is ever truly deleted from the Internet, and a trip to the Wayback Machine has allowed us to see that the ability to change the size of the moon was added in order to settle an argument at Rockstar.

According to Vermeij, artists approached him with a texture for the moon, and he placed it in the sky as instructed. A few days later, several artists came back to him asking him to alter the size of the moon, though two wanted it to be smaller and two wanted it to be larger. Vermeij explains that this argument "went on a bit", and that he suggested making the size of the moon changeable in the actual game to stop all the arguments and let them come to their own conclusion in their own time.

While working on the game, those playing could use the sniper to shoot the moon and change the size, helping them see which size looked best. However, Vermeij explains that these artists never actually got back to him with a confirmed answer about which size they wanted to go with, so he just left the feature in the game and nobody noticed. It even managed to make the jump to GTA: San Andreas.

Unfortunately, you can't change the size of the moon in GTA 4 or 5, which is unsurprising considering how much of a graphical leap both games were during their respective launches. It's still interesting to see how sometimes Easter eggs aren't actually references at all, and are rather one poor developer's attempt to not be caught in the middle of a heated argument.

Even though it hasn't been a thing for two mainline entries now, shooting the moon will still be the first thing I do when I get my hands on a sniper rifle in GTA 6. We'll see the first trailer for the highly-anticipated titles at some point within the next couple of weeks, though Rockstar is still being a little coy about when it will actually drop.

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"GTA: Vice City's Moon Easter Egg Was Added To Settle An Argument" :: Login/Create an Account :: 2 comments

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it certainly was a great addition


5 year old me was mind blown when I found this.