Niko Bellic (Serbian: Нико Белић) (born June 25, 1978) is the main protagonist and playable character of Grand Theft Auto IV. He is also the archenemies of Dimitri Rascalov. It is implied in a side mission that Niko is possibly from the Balkans, when asked by serial killer Eddie Low if he hails from the Balkans, Niko replies with "Hey, you're a smart guy". Niko grew up during the harsh times of the Yugoslav wars, in which he participated as an angry youth.
Personality-wise, Niko is a very down-to-business person, and is very protective when it comes to his family and loved ones, especially Roman. The most significant aspect of Niko's personality is his cynicism, which he gained in the war. He criticizes his acquaintances for expecting him to have fun amidst his troubled situation. Niko's biggest weakness is his inability to let go of the past - which causes him much aggression when the issue of finding his betrayers comes up; Niko is criticized by many of his friends and most notably Roman, for this weakness. His first girlfriend was Michelle, whom he later leaves after she turns out to be an undercover detective, and his fifth, Kate McReary either way dies at the end (if the player chooses Revenge) or feels disappointed in Niko for violating his principles, but forgives and consoles him in his time of loss (in Deal). Niko also has three other girlfriends: Carmen Ortiz, Kiki Jenkins and Alexandra Chilton.
As well as the overall main protagonist and playable character in GTA IV. Niko is also the mentionable character in Grand Theft Auto V, and a minor character in Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. Niko was voiced by Michael Hollick.
Niko's favorite radio stations are Vladivostok FM and Liberty Rock Radio.
Although it is one of the less ruthless protagonists (of course, when compared with Tommy Vercetti), you can still classify as a villain by the fact that he has direct connections with mafias and criminal gangs, telling the optional murders and human trafficking he once performed. Niko witnessed many atrocities and war crimes, including a number of children lined up against a church wall, each with their throats slit and hands cut off. And, obviously like any protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the player has the choice and abillity to kill thousands and hundreds of innocent people, making Niko a brutal killer.
Grand Theft Auto V
When Michael De Santa plans a heist on a jewelry store his friend Lester mentions about an Eastern European guy making moves in Liberty City, but he went quiet. This is an obvious reference to Niko. When Packie McReary is discovered in a random event, and if brought into a robbery he will mention Niko and their heist on a bank in Liberty City 5 years prior (during the mission Three Leaf Clover). Packie will mention he hasn't heard from Niko in years. Its possible Niko retired from a life of crime after either of the endings in Grand Theft Auto IV.
In the GTA Online counterpart to Grand Theft Auto V, if players bought the collectors edition they will be able to choose Niko as their father as part of the character customization, which will give the character a likeness to them.
- Niko: "I'm not cold."
- Roman: "You're cold... all you care about is revenge and getting your own way."
- ―Roman giving his opinion on Niko.
Niko is very protective of his family and loved ones, particularly his cousin Roman, whom Niko constantly has to worry about due to his gambling habit. Roman has an indiscrete nature of frequently getting the pair into trouble. He is withdrawn among strangers, but has good manners, and shows a softer side with love interests like Kate McReary and Michelle. That said, the horrors of war, both witnessed and perpetrated by Niko, have given him a great sense of guilt, and an ambivalence about the value of human life — he warns away pursuers and expresses regret over his past violence, but also feels that killing is all that he can do, readily taking on jobs which necessarily involve murder. Niko is prone to violence after being angered and he has an explosive temper when he is betrayed, manipulated, or his loyalty is questioned, but he is also quick to help the defenseless and unfortunate, even those he merely meets in passing; he apparently possesses a sense of idealism which was wounded by his wartime experiences. Unfortunately, such a split attitude leads to hypocrisy — Niko, for example, appears to genuinely sympathize with the McReary's grief over the demise of one of their brothers (either Derrick McReary or Francis McReary), despite having secretly committed that murder himself. This makes it highly possible that Niko is a pessimist.
Niko's bitterness at the murder of his friends during the war has consumed him, and he is unable to let it go, taking on several highly dangerous jobs merely to enable his quest for vengeance. Several of his friends, most notably Roman, urge him to find a new reason to live, and there are many morality choices for Niko to emphasize his trait.
Niko's business-like manner usually leads him to behave more maturely and cautiously than his acquaintances, although with acquaintances like Brucie Kibbutz, Bernie Crane and Roman, this is no surprise. He has an apparent distaste for illicit drugs, much like Carl Johnson. He frequently turns down Little Jacob's offers for marijuana and warns Packie about his cocaine habit. He also finds it distasteful to traffic in cocaine and particularly heroin, although this may be due to the heavy jail sentences they attract as much as any moral qualms. He is skeptical of American mainstream culture, which he sees as "shallow" and "hypocritical" and has trouble relating to Roman's fascination with the country. However, he reasons that being in America is far better than back in Serbia due to the country's instability and misery.
Niko also exhibits dislike for American conservative politicians, whom he considers to be hypocrites. An example is Bryce Dawkins, whom Niko says is a "bullshitter" for giving homophobic speeches and preaching about family values to gain political power when he himself is bisexual. However, a conversation between Niko and Kiki Jenkins reveals he considers himself neither liberal nor conservative, and that the war gave him a highly cynical view of politicians in general.
Niko has a certain degree of pity for other people, even random strangers, and feels obliged to help others who cannot help themselves. Most missions involve Niko doing jobs for money, particularly one occasion. After meeting a troubled young girl, Marnie Allen, he even gives her some of his own money multiple times to help her out. He is also surprisingly calm when speaking to authority figures, even those as powerful as Francis McReary, who he simply asks for more money from, much to the disappointment and frustration of McReary. He is usually never emotionally disturbed by anyone besides figures from his past, such as Darko Brevic. If Niko kills Brevic, Niko will hesitate for a moment before unloading 12 shots (one for every member of Niko's army unit who was killed) into Brevic's body uncontrollably, even after Brevic's death after about the sixth shot. The only other figure that has visibly disturbed Niko is Eddie Low, who Niko is understandably creeped out by. This can even horrify the player to an extent, such as when Low makes comments about all the people he has murdered in gruesome ways, or Low's clinginess towards Niko for being his 'friend'. During his encounters with Low, Niko's eyebrows are raised and his mouth is open in disbelief. Otherwise, Niko's face is usually very serious.
Niko almost always refuses alcohol when it is offered to him (he asks for water in the mission Ivan The Not So Terrible) except for the mission The Holland Play where Playboy X pours him a glass. Niko goes to drink it, but changes his mind and puts the glass on a table. There is a scene where Niko does drink a glass of vodka (on the rocks) in the mission One Last Thing, while talking to Jimmy Pegorino, but this is understandable considering what he had just been through. Niko does seem to enjoy a drink, but knows the time and place for it. He refuses alcohol outright in instances where he needs to keep a sharp mind, such as during missions.
Without the player's control, Niko will never hit female pedestrians. For example, when Niko carjacks someone, the animation can sometimes see him punch or kick the occupant of the car, but he only does this to male drivers. If the driver is female, Niko will just pull her out of the car and not harm her.