BASE Jumping FAQ - Guide for Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

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               |Base Jumping FAQ (Xbox 360)|
               |Gaming_Force               | 
               |[email protected]      |


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TIP: To fast travel to a particular section of this FAQ, hit Ctrl-F (or
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1. Introduction
2. Version History
3. Parachute Controls
4. Important Notes
5. Base Jumps
     5.1 Alderney
     5.2 Algonquin
     5.3 Dukes
     5.4 Broker
6. Rewards
7. Credits
8. Contact and FAQ Info


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                               1. Introduction*

Hey guys! Welcome to my first completed FAQ. I'd attempted to write a FAQ a few
years ago but abandoned the pursuit because I'm just that convictional.
Seriously, it's not that I was busy. I was (am) lazy.

Now I realize it's been nearly two years since The Ballad of Gay Tony came out,
but truth be told I only just recently bought GTA IV and Episodes of Liberty
City at a bargain price. The thing is, when I was trying the base jumps I tried
to look for advice online and had little luck. So I hope this guide helps you,
and I strongly recommend taking a look at section 3, Parachute Controls, before
venturing on.

Base jumps are minigames unlocked after you complete a mission pretty early
into the game. These activities can be really addictive but can also be very
frustrating if you're not acquainted with the parachute controls or, what the
heck, basic aerodynamics.

The in-game control description can be vague and forgettable, and I spent some
time mastering the parachute controls before I finally felt like I got the hang
of it. Sections 3 and 4 will hopefully spare you that effort. Now while the
Parachute Controls section may not be very useful if you're playing on a PC or
PS3, the main Base Jumps section will hopefully still help you out.

Have fun!


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                          2. Version History*

1. Version 1.0 - (July 27, 2011) The first (and hopefully final) version of
   the FAQ.


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                          3. Parachute Controls*

Now if you didn't read the introduction (and I don't blame you, I normally skip
that part), I found the in-game description of the parachute controls pretty
vague and forgettable. The trick to base jumping is, naturally, knowing how to
use the parachute: if you're able to master that, you shouldn't have a lot of
trouble getting through the minigames (but you should still read that section
of the FAQ just to get a glimpse of my awesome writing skillz).

When the base jump begins, you'll be prompted to press "Y" to jump off whatever
platform you're on. Once you're freefalling, press "A" to open up the parachute
Use "LS" to steer. Keep in mind that you don't need to push the left stick all
the way to move. Just like in vehicles, in many cases the subtler the movement
the more control you'll have.

Push "LS" forward to dive: this will mainly propel you downward with force. You
will gain some forward momentum, but if it's sheer distance you want this is
NOT the right option. If your objective is not that far away forwards but you
still have some altitude to cover, you can use "LS" forward to dive, but keep
in mind that if you do your descent will be accelarated and your surroundings
will become a blur, meaning you'll probably risk losing some accuracy, so be
conservative with this.

Push "LS" left or right to veer at an angle: it is much subtler than just using
the air brakes and therefore much better to ensure accuracy.

Push "LS" back to cover distance and slightly slow your descent: this is
particularly useful when you have a lot of distance forward to cover, but be
careful not to overshoot it.

If you don't touch "LS" you will glide downward and somewhat forward. You may
find that you think you're going to make a perfect landing, but you end up
slightly overshooting the target because of the natural forward momentum. If
you're trying to remain as close to the same position as you can, go with the
air brakes.

Use "LT" and "RT" individually to air brake left and right, respectively: this
will dramatically shift your position sideways. If you need to veer quickly
this is a good option. If you feel you're going to overshoot the target, a
helpful tactic is to use either air brake to do a full 180° turn and travel in
the opposite direction for a little while. Then do another 180° and your target
should be more easily reachable.

Use "LT" and "RT" combined to do a full air brake: this will significantly slow
your descent and minimize forward momentum. This is a very useful option to
maximize accuracy, as just falling naturally with the parachute or using one of
the other controls can be too fast to ensure precision. You may get a bit
impatient because you'll fall slowly using this option, but it is infinitely
useful, so don't underestimate it.

Use "B" to switch cameras: this is more of a hindrance than an utility, so I
wouldn't suggest using it unless you want a cooler viewpoint.

Finally, use "Y" after the parachute is open to release it. This can be a 
dangerous button because, fall from too high and you're dead (unless you're
above sea level, because Rockstar thinks even a mile-high fall to sea wouldn't
even hurt). It isn't really necessary, so I'd suggest avoiding it altogether.


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                           4. Important Notes*

Just a few tips before starting the base jumps. There are three types of base
jumps: target jumps, heli jumps and vehicle jumps. There are five of each type,
for a grand total of 15. To start a base jump, go to the indicated spot on the
map and look for the pink arrow. Stand over it and press "LB" to begin the
activity. You don't need to buy a Parachute from Armando because you'll 
automatically be provided one as soon as you start the base jump.

In my opinion, the easiest jumps are the Target type because you'll see exactly
where you've got to land once you start the base jump. Since the target doesn't
move, you'll have plenty of time to maneuver.

The heli jumps can be a bit trickier: you'll see a series of checkpoints that
will guide you to the final target. Maneuvering your way through each
checkpoint can be problematic but keep in mind that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PASS ANY
final target. 

The thing is, the next checkpoint only appears after the previous one has been
either completed or is no longer reachable (that is to say, you've passed below
it), so the target doesn't appear until you've passed the last checkpoint. If
you're having problems with these activities, it might be a good idea to play
it through once trying more or less to keep up with the checkpoints in order
to see the location of the final target. Once you've done that, you can keep
that location on your mind and maneuver straight there once the activity begins

Vehicle jumps have you parachute unto a very slowly moving Flatbed truck. If
you think you might undershoot the target slightly, aim for the head of the
truck rather than the bed. In a particular vehicle jump you will be prompted
to land on a boat rather than on a Flatbed. If you take too long to get there,
the boat will launch from the docks making it significantly more difficult to
make the landing.

Unless otherwise indicated, I suggest jumping off the starting platform and
pulling the parachute as soon as possible. This will give you more time to

Note that you can do base jumps even if you have a wanted level. In fact, it
might be a good idea to use them to put a little distance between yourself and
the search radius.

Finally, feel free to experiment: what worked for me might not be the best
option for you. Since you won't have a lot of time to plan your next move while
parachuting, use the next section as a guideline rather than a step-by-step


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                               5. Base Jumps*

It'll be a bit hard to indicate the base jump I'm referring to, but I'll do my
best to pinpoint the exact location. Generally, I'll start west (Alderney) and
work my way east (Broker).

You will see three classifications for each base jump: location, type and
difficulty. DIfficulty will be measured according to the following scale: Very
Easy, Easy, Medium and Hard. Remember that this is purely subjective, so you
may have some trouble with one labeled Easy or find a Hard base jump to be a

If you're having trouble with any of these, you may want to review the previous
two sections.

The difficulty of the Heli Jumps is determined considering how hard it is to
reach all four checkpoints before the target, but again, as long as you reach
the final target the base jump will be considered complete.

5.1. ALDERNEY* BASE JUMPS (leftmost island)

     1. Location: Tudor (western section, in front of the fire department)
        Type: Heli Jump
        Difficulty: Medium

        Deploy the parachute early: you have a bit of distance to cover for the
        first checkpoint. Look right for the second one, then dive left for the
        third. The fourth one will be just above a billboard, then use "LS"
        back to reach the final target in front of the Honkers.

     2. Location: Alderney City (mid-upper section)
        Type: Vehicle Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        You start out on a tall building and have to make your way to a Flatbed
        moving east along Plumbers Skyway to your north. Jump and launch the 
        parachute as soon as you can, then hold "LS" back and gradually make 
        your way right. Once you're more or less directly above the truck, hold
        both air brakes for an accurate landing.

     3. Location: Westdike (northern section)
        Type: Heli Jump
        Difficulty: Medium

        The helicopter starts out at a very high altitude by eastern Westdike.
        You may want to wait a couple of seconds before deploying the parachute
        to make the first checkpoint. Do a full 180° to get to the second 
        checkpoint, then stay around the same area for the third. Do another 
        180° and look for the fourth one near the large rock. Then pull "LS" 
        back, then use the air brakes to get to the target a couple of yards 

5.2. ALGONQUIN* BASE JUMPS (center island)

     4. Location: Westminster (east of the Pay 'n' Spray)
        Type: Heli Jump
        Difficulty: Medium

        You start out way south of the map below Happiness Island. This one is
        pretty unilateral so you shouldn't have a lot of trouble gliding  
        through the checkpoints using a combination of "LS" back, "LS" front
        and the air brakes. The final target can be a bit tricky: I suggest 
        carefully combining "LS" back and the air brakes for accuracy.

     5. Location: Star Junction (the northernmost one, just east of the Pay 'n' 
        Spray in front of Thespian Theaters)
        Type: Vehicle Jump
        Difficulty: Very Easy

        You start out on a tall building overlooking Star Junction. The target
        Flatbed is just to the south of the starting point. Don't get too far 
        away and you should have no trouble with this one.

     6. Location: Star Junction (due just a bit southwest of the previous one,
        by the building with the large rolling round object)
        Type: Vehicle Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        Your target vehicle is about to cross the Algonquin bridge, bound 
        eastward. This one's pretty easy, but open the parachute early so you
        have enough time to cover the distance between the starting point and 
        the Flatbed (preferably by pulling back on the left stick).

     7. Location: Star Junction (just across the street from the previous 
        one, in front of some rotating doors)
        Type: Target Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        The target is just due north. Use the air brakes or purposefully pass
        the target and do a 180° turn so you don't overshoot it.

     8. Location: Lancet (the easternmost base jump in the island, almost 
        directly due east from the previous one and by the building in front of
        the large statue)
        Type: Target Jump
        Difficulty: Very Easy

        Once again, the target is just due north. This one's more comfortable
        than the previous one because you have a little bit more distance to 
        cover and a little bit more time to cover it.

     9. Location: Easton (a bit southwest of the previous one, in front of some
        Type: Vehicle Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        You'll start out on top of the GetaLife building in a motorcycle. The
        Flatbed is moving south along Columbus Avenue. Accelarate off the ramp,
        then press "Y" to jump off and "A" to deploy the parachute. Use "LS"
        back, "LS" front and the air brakes to calculate the landing.

    10. Location: The Triangle (west and a tad south from the previous one, by
        the building across from the one with the large shark)
        Type: Target Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        The target is a bit far away, in front of a Burger Shot. You'll
        definitely need to pull "LS" back to cover the distance, then just use
        the air brakes.

    11. Location: The Triangle (directly southwest of the previous one, by the
        street that serves as a border between The Meat Quarter and The   
        Type: Target Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        You'll start off jumping off a very tall building, facing your target
        to the southeast, which is directly in front of a fountain. You might
        want to dive for a while to cover the excessive altitude. After that 
        you should have no trouble hitting the target.

    12. Location: City Hall (the southernmost base jump in Algonquin, by the
        area of the hospital with the parked ambulances)
        Type: Vehicle Jump
        Difficulty: Easy

        This is the only Vehicle Jump that'll have you jump on a Marquis boat
        rather than a Flatbed. Accelerate off the ramp, then jump off and  
        deploy. You will most definitely need to use "LS" back to cover the
        distance:  once you know this, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble with
        this jump.

5.3. DUKES* BASE JUMPS (rightmost island, upper half)

    13. Location: East Island (mid-upper section)
        Type: Target Jump
        Difficulty: Very Easy

        Again, you'll definitely need to use "LS" back to cover the distance to
        the target. If you've gotten the hang of the parachute controls, this
        one should be a breeze.

    14. Location: Francis International Airport (eastern area: you'll have to 
        climb some stairs near the parachute symbol to get to the helipad)
        Type: Heli Jump
        Difficulty: Hard

        You'll start off above Beechwood City. You might want to wait a few
        seconds before deploying the parachute so as not to overshoot the first
        checkpoint. Air brake left to catch the second checkpoint, then do a 
        hard right and pull "LS" back to cover the distance to the third one.
        Look right once again to see the fourth checkpoint above the railway,
        then the final target will be on an intersection in front of you. It's
        a good idea to use the individual air brakes in this base jump so as to
        turn more efficiently.

    15. Location: Firefly Island (the very southernmost base jump of the map,
        on the footbridge above the sea)
        Type: Heli Jump
        Difficulty: Medium

        Once again you might want to wait a few seconds before deploying so you
        don't overshoot the first checkpoint. The second one will be a bit to 
        the right: I suggest doing a 180° turn and gliding in the opposite   
        direction for a little while so that, once you turn around again, you
        won't overshoot it. You may want to glide forward a bit ("LS" forward)
        for the next two. After you reach the fourth checkpoint, pull "LS" back
        to reach the final target.


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                                 6. Rewards*

Unless, like yours truly, you're a bit of a gamerscore junkie, the 5G you can
get by completing the base jumps (less than 1% of the total achievable
gamerscore for GTA IV) is arguably not worth the effort. Additionally,
completing all base jumps adds 2.5% to your game completion stat. Still, it's a
fun minigame and that, in my opinion, is what gaming should really be about.


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                                 7. Credits*

Oh Gawd it's such an honor... there are so many people. Well, first off a huge
shout out to my mom, without whom I couldn't... eh... I couldn't...

Gosh mom you didn't help at all.

Seriously though, thanks to, for having such an awesome and diverse
ASCII art collection for me to play with. Thank you, I wasted away hours
tinkering with all the options. Are you proud of yourself? I had potential...


Thanks also to and for additional info concerning
this awesome minigame. Naturally, thanks to for hosting this guide
and for constituting a part of that huge refuge from society that we like to
call the Internet (society man...)

Finally, thanks to you for reading this guide. I know that seems like a corny
thing to say, and it is. What, you expected a but? Well no buts for you! That's
what she said.

BUT this guide was written for the readers, and I hope you found it helpful.
Any comments or questions regarding either this FAQ or particular base jumps
are welcome (see the next section).


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                             8. Contact and FAQ Info*

First off, feel free to print out any portion of this FAQ you wish, but if
you're going to post this elsewhere please give proper dues to yours truly and
to GameFAQs. This guide was written around mid-July 2011 and published shortly

My name is Damian, and you can contact me via [email protected] (dumb
e-mail I know, I was young... shut up). Please only write concerning this FAQ
or GTA IV, and write something along the lines of "The Ballad of Gay Tony" in
the subject title so I know it's not spam. Praise, hate, death threats, doubts
and other comments are all equally welcome (I lie, please don't send me death
threats, I'm jittery). Just please use intelligible spelling and sentences so I
don't have to decode l33t.

I hope you enjoyed this FAQ and that you found it at least modically useful.

Have fun, and until next time!

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