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GTA San Andreas' Random Plane Crashes Finally Explained

The reason behind one of the game's most hilarious mysteries was revealed by Rockstar's former developer.

Out of hundreds of thousands of games created throughout the entire history of the gaming industry, few can rival Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in terms of mysteries and urban myths surrounding them. From popular legends like Bigfoot and aliens to more obscure ones like the Epsilon cult and that weird rusty wheelchair in Red County, the list of San Andreas' myths includes perhaps hundreds of entries, some of which remain unexplained even today, two decades after the game's release.

One such mystery, likely familiar to anyone who has played the game at least once, involves the random plane crashes that occur somewhat unpredictably and can either make you chuckle due to their goofy nature or result in mission failure by falling directly on CJ. If you are a devoted GTA fan and would love to learn why exactly that happens, you'd be delighted to learn that recently, former Technical Director at Rockstar North Obbe Vermeij let the cat out of the bag on this enigma, finally explaining the reason behind the chaotic aerial incidents in GTA:SA.

According to Vermeij's recent Twitter post, planes are spawned near the player to perform fly-bys. When the code is searching for a place to spawn, it only scans a few lines in the plane's forward direction to check for obstacles.

Due to the slow scanning process, the developer chose to minimize the number of scans, causing the code to overlook small obstacles, which, as GTA players know, can be more than enough to damage or destroy a plane upon collision. Moreover, as highlighted by Twitter user Silent and verified by Vermeij, there is also a bug in the code that exacerbates the issue.

"In addition, the planes would sometimes lose some height right after being created because their initial speed may not have generated enough lift," the developer continued. "There was an additional problem when map models were not streamed in yet. Their collision would be loaded after the plane had already been created. These issues would occasionally allow planes to be created on a doomed flight path."

Additionally, the developer shed some light on one more plane-related mystery, revealing why planes would sometimes spawn way higher than they should and take a nosedive afterward:

Thus, another San Andreas mystery has been put to rest. Earlier, the developer also shared a similar post explaining the intricacies of SA's mirrors and revealing how the memory limits of PS2 contributed to their jankiness.

Check out more behind-the-scenes GTA breakdowns on Vermeij's Twitter page and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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