Saints Row… one of *My* most beloved and favorite video game series… (too ambitious?) Anyways, with this year (2017) being SR’s 11th anniversary, I figured I would take a look back at the first Saints Row, titled… “Saints Row.” (Lmao.)
Saints Row 1 had one of (In my opinion) the best Video Game openings ever… Coming right out of the character creation screen, your character starts simply… walking down the street. After walking past a Watch Seller and a ugh… Hoe. Then you stumble on to a gang fight where a gang member walks up to you, and says “Wrong place, wrong time” and… *poof* you hear a gunshot and the screen goes black, then comes back a second later, revealing you didn’t die, and another gang called “The 3rd Street Saints” came to rescue you. The boss invites you to the Saints, and tells you to swing by the church when you’re ready to be apart of something bigger.
From left to right: Troy, Johnny Gat, Julius, Lin, Dex.
Then after being canonized into the Saints, you get introduced to the members. You have Julius, Troy, Dex, Johnny Gat, and Lin. Saints Row 1 actually had my favorite cast of Saints, as they all had very different personalities. Julius, the “Get shit done” kinda guy, Troy, the “I don’t really care” kinda guy, Johnny who was the “Can I just go murder people” kinda guy, and Lin, the Soft spoken badass.
One of the biggest things in the original two Saints Row games, were the rival gangs. In SR1, There were the Los Carnales, The Vice Kings, and The Westside Rollerz.
From left to right: Luz Avalos, Victor Rodriguez, Hector Lopez, Angelo Lopez, Manuel Orejuela.
Primarily made up of Hispanics and Caucasians and sporting red colors, Los Carnales specialize in arms and drug trafficking. Hector Lopez leads the gang with his brother Angelo Lopez, who is dating Luz Avalos. Victor Rodriguez is their enforcer, and Manuel Orejuela is the contact between Los Carnales and the Colombian drug lords. The Carnales operate primarily out of the region around the airport and the run-down industrial areas of Stilwater.
Kings Chief Operating Officer, Warren Williams is in a locked duel against King because of his need to prove he’s down. Williams argues that violence and brute force is the only way to show the rising Saints gang true power, while King remains more calm and collected about the matter.
With the help of Tanya Winters, Warren stages a coup against Benjamin King. After the Leader of the gang runs away for his life, the Vice Kings falls under the control of Williams. This is short lived, since Tanya betrays Warren by killing him and takes all the power for herself. Winters has little to no experience running a gang, let alone one of the most powerful ones in the city. During her short reign, the gang has major conflicts within its ranks. This leads more than half the members to quit, while a small portion remains loyal to Winters. After Benjamin King allies himself with the 3rd Street Saints and kills Tanya himself, the Vice Kings disband.
The Rollerz consist of a cadre of street racers and tuners that supplement their illegal hobbies through dealing in stolen auto parts that they acquire by preying on truck shipments traveling through Stilwater.
The gang is mostly made up of rich kids who lived in the heart of the Rollerz turf: the suburbs.
After the Saints defeat all three gangs, The Saints officially control all of Stilwater. Because of this, Julius promotes you, the player, to Chief Lieutenant. Celebrations end early as Julius is arrested by Richard Monroe, the corrupt police commissioner, and threatens to kill him, unless the Saints assassinate Mayor Marshal Winslow, allowing Alderman Richard Hughes to win the election.
Then… the (in)famous ending. The game coming full circle, and ending with a bang. The ending is just as iconic as the opening in my opinion. Hughes, now the mayor, invites you, the player, to meet with him on his yacht. With the Saints held responsible for Winslow’s death, Hughes plans to destroy them and raze Saints Row so he can sell it to developers. Troy, who had been an undercover cop planted by Monroe to infiltrate the Saints, meets with the police while Julius watches. Hughes then orders his bodyguards to kill the player, but a bomb suddenly explodes on the yacht’s main deck, killing everyone onboard and putting the player into a coma.
Saints Row 1 set the series on a path to success, which even to this day, is creating soon to be successful spinoffs like Agents of Mayhem. And when, your having fun, playing Agents of Mayhem, or any other spinoff, I just want you to remember that Saints Row 1 was the game that started it all. -Anthony