|Profession||Roman's Car Depot (bussiness)|
|Friends and Family|
|Parents|| Milicia Bellic (mother)
|Behind the Scenes|
|Voiced by||Michael Hollick|
Niko Bellic (Serbian: Нико Белић, Niko Belić) is the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV. He is 30 years old, and grew up in the Balkan country of Yugoslavia in Eastern Europe, where he fought in the Yugoslav Wars. Michael Hollick (main), Sam Glen, Bas Rutten, Amir Perrets and Mario D’Leon (the main voice/motion capture actor of Luis Fernando Lopez) performs Niko’s motion capture
Early life and family
It is suggested that Niko was born in Yugoslavia and grew up in a small town in modern-day Serbia, close to his cousin, Roman Bellic. His father was an abusive alcoholic, whom Niko despised; his mother, Milica Bellic, was a long-suffering woman, unhappy that her son grew up in such a harsh place. In a conversation with Patrick McReary, Niko reveals that he had a brother who died during the Bosnian war. According to the dialogue in the mission, Taking in the Trash Niko dreamt of becoming an astronaut when he was a child. In a conversation with Dwayne Forge, Niko says in the place he grew up, they did not have electricity until he was twelve. In a conversation with Kate McReary, Niko says that he found out his aunt (Roman's mother) was raped and murdered, some time after Roman's departure to the United States; knowing Roman would be even more devastated if he knew the true circumstances of his mother's death, Niko covered up what happened, telling him that she died in a house fire.
Niko grew up in the harsh environment of the Yugoslav Wars, and became a soldier himself as a teenager (The Yugoslav Wars being between 1991 and 1995, this means Niko was only 13-17 years old at the time). Niko says that he was betrayed "ten years ago", making it closer to 1997 or 1998 (although Florian claims that its was "twelve or thirteen years ago" in a phone call after the mission That Special Someone). He served as a helicopter pilot and an infantryman during the war, and during the mission Easy Fare, Roman alludes to him driving a tank (although given Roman's lack of first-hand experience, this is not necessarily true).
During the war, Niko both witnessed and committed numerous atrocities, which led to his cynical perspective on life, and a certain degree of regret, depression, and emotional detachment. Eventually, Niko's unit of fifteen men (most of them friends from his hometown) were ambushed by enemy forces, and all but three were killed: Darko Brevic, Florian Cravic, and Niko himself. Niko concluded that either Florian or Darko had sold the group out, and he vowed to uncover and kill the culprit, not only to gain revenge, but also to hopefully 'close the book' on the incident, and move on with his life.
Work was hard to come by following the war. Niko's cousin, Roman, had already moved to America to start a new life in Liberty City; Niko spent the next decade working in the European criminal underworld, leading to a brief period of incarceration. After been released from prison, he began working for a human trafficking ring led by Ray Bulgarin; when a boat involved in the operation sank in the Adriatic during a smuggling run into Italy, Niko swam to safety, but everything and everyone else was lost. Bulgarin believed that Niko had intentionally scuttled the ship and stole his money; the gangster's reach was too great within Europe, so Niko joined the merchant navy to escape Bulgarin's influence.
Life in Liberty City
Niko spent seven months with the cargo ship Platypus, which eventually headed for Liberty City.
During the game, Niko says he moved to Liberty City because he wanted a new life by living the American Dream but when he does arrive in Liberty City he has nothing except Roman. Niko parted ways with Hossan and the Platypus crew there, partly to reunite with his cousin, and partly to track down Florian Cravic, who had moved to Liberty City after the war. Roman had been boasting of great success in Liberty City, but in truth his assets amounted to a small taxi depot and rundown apartment, and he was saddled with heavy debts due to his gambling habit. Niko would assist Roman in his taxi business, and protect his cousin from the loan sharks who were harassing him. Roman's connections eventually led to Niko taking work with the Russian Mafia, setting in motion the events of the game.
At the end of the game, a Weazel News report states that Niko is wanted for questioning by the police (although not as a suspect), for the events at his cousin's wedding.
Niko's immigrant status is uncertain, and arouses the suspicion of the LCPD and FIB. Although Niko often protests while fleeing police that he "has [his] papers", Roman says that Niko does not have a visa.